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974.702 

B86b 

v. 6 ,pt.l 

1745979 



.KYJVOLDS HISTORICAL 
GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 01147 8929 



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159' 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/publicationsv6p1buff 



SH 



PUBLICATIONS 



OF THE 



BUFFALO 



Historical Society 



VOLUME VI 



V. t ' I 



EDITED BY 

FRANK H. SEVERANCE 

SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY 



BUFFALO, NEW YORK: 

PUBLISHED BY THE 

BUFFALO HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
1903 



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1745979 



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J a^,»iti ( yi^.^r^^^^.ffn^»w;-^iito.« l r. ,.;V,P^, 






GEORGE STARR HAZARD, 



iocnt Buffalo Historical. Socictv. 1890 and 1892. Dicd Aug. 7, 1903. 
Sec Appendix 8. 



PUBLICATIONS 



OF THE 



BUFFALO 



Historical Society 



VOLUME VI 



EDITED BY 

FRANK H. SEVERANCE 

SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY 



BUFFALO, NEW YORK: 

PUBLISHED BY THE 

BUFFALO HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
1903 



OFFICERS OF THE 

BUFFALO HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

1903 



President ANDREW LANGDON. 

Vice-President GEORGE ALFRED STRINGER. 

Secretary FRANK H. SEVERANCE. 

Treasurer CHARLES J. NORTH. 



BOARD OF MANAGERS. 



Lewis J. Bennett, 
Albert H. Briggs, M. D., 
Robert W. Day/ 
Joseph P. Dudley, 
Charles W. Goodyear, 
Henry W. Hill, 
Henry R. Howland/f 
Andrew Langdon, 
J. N. Larned, 
Ogden P. Letch worth, 



J. J. McWilliams, 
George B. Mathews, 
Charles J. North, 
G. Barrett Rich, 
Henry A. Richmond, 
Frank H. Severance, 
George Alfred Stringer, 
James Sweeney, 
William C. Warren, 
Charles R. Wilson. 



The Mayor of Buffalo, the Corporation Counsel, the Comptroller, 
Superintendent of Education, President of the Board of Park Com- 
missioners, and President of the Common Council, are also ex-oihcio 
members of the Board of Managers of the Buffalo Historical Society. 



* Succeeds George VV. Townsend, died Oct. 24, 1902. 
f Succeeds Hon. Wilson S. Bissell, died Oct. 6, 1903. 








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HE day of the great Ho-de-noh-sau-nee is now far 
spent. The last rays of the setting sun have cast 
their light upon the gaudy feathers of their head-dresses, 
upon their bright necklaces and their buckskin suits. 
The ancient music is hushed; the tam-tams and the 
rattles are no more heard. The laughter of the children 
does not ring through the silent forest ; the voices of the 
wild animals do not resound. The howl of the wolf, the 
hoot of the owl, the croaking of the frog in the swamp 
and the tree-toad among the leaves, the call of the squirrel — all these 
native voices that the Indian so well loved, all are still, they are part 
of the silent past. 

No more is there a Keeper of the Wampum, for the Confederacy 
of the Great League is broken ; the council fires are kindled no more ; 
the runners have delivered their last message. The only traces of 
them left are what Mother Earth revealeth. 

Here, at the Western Door, and on the banks of the Sken-dyuh- 
gwa-dih, the people of the Great League gave up their worldly cus- 
toms to join their now spiritual forefathers. It is to their memory — 
to the memory of the Ho-de-noh-sau-nee — that the tablet is en- 



VI FORE- WORD. 

graved above the entrance to the grand hall of the Buffalo Historical 
Society : 

NEH-KO, GAH-GIS-DAH-YEN-DUK. 

OTHER COUNCIL FIRES WERE HERE BEFORE OURS. 

Few and scattered are the remnants of the once-powerful con- 
federacy; fewer still they who know of its customs. "A few more 
suns, and my people will only live in history." This saying of one of 
our great chieftains is now fulfilled. 

Ha-non'-da-a'-suh, 

("Keeper of the Hill," whose English 

name is Moses Shongo.) 



PREFACE 



IN OFFERING to its members and the public Volume 
Six in its Publication Series the Buffalo Historical 
Society believes that in interest and value it will be 
found fully equal to the preceding volumes. The Society 
was fortunate in securing for publication the group of pa- 
pers by Mr. Henry R. Howland. (Pp. 17-161.) Drawn in 
large part from unpublished sources, dealing with men and 
episodes of first importance in the history of our region, and 
written in an exceptionally attractive style, these studies 
form a notable addition to the annals of the field which it is 
the function of the Buffalo Historical Society to explore. 

Closely related to a part of Mr. Howland's contributions, 
are the group of missionary narratives and journals which 
follow. Some of these are printed from manuscripts which 
have long been in the possession of the Society. The jour- 
nals of the Rev. Thompson S. Harris are a recent acquisition, 
the gift of the Rev. Lewis M. Lawrence, late of Iroquois, 
N. Y. ; they were secured for the Society archives through 
the good offices of Mr. Henry R. Howland. While it is un- 
likely that the subject of early Protestant missions to the 
Indians or the white settlers in Western New York is ex- 



PREFACE. 



haustively covered by this group of papers, it is believed that 
nowhere else has been brought together so much material 
bearing on the subject. 

The "Life of Horatio Jones," by Mr. George H. Harris, 
which follows the narratives of early missions, is sufficiently 
commented on in the Introduction which precedes it (pp. 
383-384). While it is deeply to be regretted that Mr. Harris 
was not spared to complete the work on the lines which he 
had planned, its high value, even in its present shape, as a 
contribution to Western New York history will be obvious to 
every student of the subject. Some unused material relating 
to Horatio Jones, and even more relating to his close friend, 
Jasper Parrish, remains in the hands of the Society, and may 
be utilized in a future volume. The editor hereby makes 
grateful acknowledgment, for assistance received, from Mrs. 
George H. Harris, now of Anaconda, Mont. ; Mrs. Sarah E. 
Gunn, Leavenworth, Kas. ; the Rev. E. W. Sears, Moscow, 
N. Y. ; Mr. Lockwood R. Doty and Mr. J. D. Lewis of 
Geneseo. With the latter he visited Sweet Briar, Horatio 
Jones's old homestead, and other places associated with him 
in the Genesee Valley. 

The Bibliography of the Niagara Region, begun in Vol. 
V., with a list of publications relating to the Upper Canada 
Rebellion, is continued in the present volume with a com- 
pilation of titles of books and pamphlets printed in Buffalo 
prior to 1850. 

This volume, like its predecessor in the series, is sent free 
to life and resident members of the Society. From the 
abundance of valuable manuscript material in the possession 



PREFACE. IX 

of the Society it is hoped that another volume, equal to the 
present in size and superior to it in some other respects, soon 
may be issued. The Society, however, has no guaranteed 
publication fund ; and the extent of its publishing - enterprises 
depends in good measure on revenues which in considerable 
degree rest on the public interest in its work. Happily, the 
outlook, not merely as regards its Publications, but in other 
endeavors to make the Buffalo Historical Society an institu- 
tion useful to the public, was never brighter than at present. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

Officers of the Society .• . iii 

An Inscription . " Moses Shongo v 

Preface vii 

From Lake Erie to Morocco George V. Brown i 

Historical Papers by Henry R. Howland: 

I. Navy Island, and the First Successors to the 

Griffon 17 

II. The Niagara Portage and its First Attempted 

Settlement under British Rule 35 

III. A British Privateer in the American Revolution 47 

IV. Robert Hamilton, the Founder of Queenston . . 73 
V. The Old Caneadea Council House and its last 

Council Fire 97 

VI. The Seneca Mission at Buffalo Creek 125 

Narratives of Early Mission Work on the Niagara Frontier 
and Buffalo Creek: 

I. The Quakers among the Senecas 

Frank H. Severance 165 
II. Jacob Lindley's Journal, 1797 169 

III. Rev. David Bacon's Visits to Buffalo, in 1800 

AND iSOI 1S3 

IV. Letters of Rev. Elkanah Holmes from Fort Niag- 

ara in 1800 187 

V. Visit of Rev. Lemuel Covell to Western New 

York and Canada, 1803 207 



X" CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

VI. Visit of Gerard T. Hopkins, 1804 217 

VII. Visit of Rev. Joseph Avery, 1805 223 

VIII. Visit of Rev. Roswell Burrows, 1806 231 

IX. A Teacher Among the Senecas : Narrative of 

Rev. Jabez Backus Hyde, 1811-1820 239 

X. Narrative of Esther Rutgers Low, 1819-1820 . . . 275 
XI. Journals of Rev. Thompson S. Harris, Missionary 

to the Senecas, 1821-1828 281 

XII. Register of the Seneca Mission Church, 1823-1848 379 

The Life of Horatio Jones George H. Harris 

Introduction 383 

I. The Capture 387 

II. The March 397 

III. The Gauntlet 407 

IV. The Adoption — Life Among the Senecas 415 

V. The Meeting with Jasper Parrish 421 

VI. Flight and Return — An Encounter 428 

VII. Horatio's Trip for the Trader 436 

VIII. Van Campen's Capture and Escape 440 

IX. Pigeons and Prisoners — Van Campen Again . . . 449 

X. Expeditions — The Witch of the Tonawanda . . 459 
XL Horatio a Chief — Sarah Whitmore's Captivity . 464 

XII. The Home in the Wilderness 471 

XIII. The Buffalo Creek Council of July, 1788 . . . . 474 

XIV. A New Home— With Proctor in 1 791 483 

XV. Treaties and Councils — The Jones and Parrish 

Tracts in Buffalo 493 

XVI. Illustrative Anecdotes — Death of Horatio Jones 504 

Sarah Whitmore's Captivity Mrs. S. E. Gunn 515 

Ancestry and Descendants of Horatio Jones 521 

The Story of Jasper Parrish From his ozvn notes, 

compiled by his son, Stephen Parrish, and others 527 

Personal Recollections of Captains Jones and Parrish . . 

Hon. Orlando Allen 539 



CONTENTS. 



Xlll 



APPENDICES. 

PAGE 

Bibliography, Buffalo Imprints before 1850 547 

Buffalo Historical Society Proceedings — 

Dedication of Building 607 

Annual Meeting, 1903 616 

George S. Hazard Memoriai 626 

Wilson S. Bissell Memorial 627 

James O. Putnam Memorial Meeting 627 

List of Members, Buffalo Historical Society 639 

Index 647 

ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Portrait, George Starr Hazard Frontispiece 

Portrait, Hon. James O. Putnam Faces page 1 

Portrait, Robert Hamilton 73 

The Old Caneadea Council House 97 

Portrait, Solomon O'Bail 115 

The Seneca Mission House, South Buffalo . 125 

Portrait, Rev. Asher Wright „ 145 

Portrait, Mrs. Asher Wright 161 

Portrait, Rev. John Ogilvie, D. D 165 

The Talk with the Indians at Buffalo Creek, 

1793 497 



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itoaf'tifiriiniiiiriirmTii^ r-r'-urn nmv-iri*iii 



HON. JAMES O. PUTNAM, 
Died April 24. 1903. See Appendix 



FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 



THE DIPLOMATIC CONTROVERSY OCCASIONED BY 

THE VISIT OF A VESSEL FROM THE GREAT 

LAKES, WITH A BUFFALO CAPTAIN, TO 

MEDITERRANEAN PORTS IN 1859. 



BY GEORGE V. BROWN, 

Former United States Consul at Tangier. 

In the year 1859, the schooner Republican, owned by J. 
W. Sprague & Co. of Huron, Ohio, and commanded by 
Capt. Coville,* now a resident of Buffalo,t and living at Cold 
Spring, cleared from the port of Huron with a cargo of 
staves, and after passing through the Welland Canal into 
Lake Ontario, the River St. Lawrence, thence into the ocean, 
sped across the broad Atlantic and anchored in the beautiful 
and picturesque bay of Cadiz. 

Shortly after casting anchor the health boat, a lateen 
manned by 12 sailors and containing three officers, paid a 
visit to the Republican. The officers were protected from 
the rays of the sun by a canopy which extended more than 
one-third the length of the craft, and, as they neared the 
vessel, the principal demanded, in broken English, the papers 
and letters of the American skipper. These were accord- 
ingly handed over the ship's side to one of the crew of the 

•Capt. Stephen Coville; died at Huntsburgh, O., October i, 1866, aged 46 
years. 

tin 1863. when this paper was written. 



2 FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 

lateen who received them with a pair of tongs, and then, 
with the utmost composure, dipped up a bucket of salt 
water, into which the ship's papers were thrown. After un- 
dergoing for a few moments this pickling process, they were 
taken out and handed to the junior officer, who passed them 
to the principal. By him they were carefully examined, so 
carefully that they were discovered to be informal, and be- 
ing handed back to Capt. Coville, that gentleman was in- 
formed that the Republican could not be admitted to pratique 
and must leave the port. 

In vain did Capt. Coville assure the sanitary officer that 
he and his crew were in the enjoyment of perfect health ; 
that he had sailed from a healthy port, and by the blessing 
of God they had experienced no sickness on board ; that his 
voyage had been a long one, and that if ordered away from 
Cadiz — the market for his cargo — he knew not where to go 
or how to better his condition. 

The huge mustachios and enormous spectacles, which 
were all that could be recognized of the power under the 
canopy, remained inexorable, and with a polite salutation, 
which a Spanish gentleman never omits, and a regret that 
he could be of no further service to El Serior Capitan Ameri- 
cano, the lateen, with its precious freight, gracefully moved 
off toward the quaint old city, a short quarter of a mile in 
the distance, leaving our poor countryman from Buffalo, 
some 4,000 miles from home, with a fair prospect of being 
obliged to return to America with no other benefit than the 
knowledge derived from an experience of the stringent sani- 
tary regulations of Spain, and the gratification, not enjoyed 
by all our lake captains, it is true, of having it in his power 
hereafter to say that he had made a sea-voyage and seen 
Cadiz, and in the language of Byron, to describe it as 

"A pretty town, I recollect it well." 

Within sight of the lofty domes, of the beautiful edifices, 
with their walls of purest white and balconies and verandas 
of the brightest green, adorned with flowering shrubs of the 
deepest and richest verdure, the fragrance of which seemed 
to impregnate the very air itself; of brilliant uniforms 



/ 



FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 3 

bristling bayonets and frowning- battlements, with now and 
then a dashing cavalier curveting his graceful Andalusian 
steed and bowing low to passers-by ; and within hearing of 
the rumbling of wheels, the cracking of whips, the martial 
calls of the bugle, and the sweet-toned bells of the Cathedral 
and other churches, the skipper of the Republican, as he 
turned to catch a last view of that orb, his faithful guide 
o'er the vast waste of water, then sinking in the west, felt 
all that desolation of heart and foreboding of the future, 
which are invariably experienced by the friendless and 
homeless of a great and bustling metropolis. 

From the American Consul, Capt. Coville could obtain no 
consolation. The Consul said, and said truly, that Capt. 
Coville's owners ought to have known better than to have 
sent him out to Europe, and particularly to Spain, without 
the necessary papers, and that under the circumstances, it 
was out of his power to aid him. 

Not knowing what to do, Capt. Coville remained at 
anchor until the third day, when he was notified that his de- 
parture must no longer be delayed. 

"Where am I to go?" said the poor man to the officer 
who communicated to him this order. "I am a stranger to 
the customs, language and people of this part of the world, 
and I am anxious to do everything in my power to extricate 
myself from a dilemma in which an unforseen omission has 
placed me. Do advise me, I pray you.'' 

"Well," said the sanitary officer, who was no less a per- 
sonage than the President of the Board of Health of Cadiz, 
and whose sympathies, as the sequel will show, were really, 
and to my own surprise when I learned it, enlisted in behalf 
of the American, "Be governed by my advice. Proceed, 
without delay, to Tangier, Morocco. Your Consul there is 
one of the Sanitary Board of that empire. Endeavor 
to procure an interview with him ; he may possibly 
extricate you so that you can return here and discharge your 
cargo. I know of no other mode. Vaya con Dios:'* And 
again was the usual salutation made, and again, as before, 
did the boat gracefully glide off toward the town. 

*"God be with you." 



4 FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 

Capt. Coville thanked the officer for his kindness, and 
after returning his salutation, gave orders for immediately 
getting under way for the "Land of the Moor." 

Whilst on his way to the port of Tangier, Capt. Coville is 
battling with the currents and chop seas of the Straits of 
Gibraltar, which are not unlike those in the English Channel, 
permit me to give you an extract from a despatch of our 
Consul at Cadiz, and also an extract from one of my own 
despatches to the Department of State : 

"The quarantine regulations, although subject to the Cen- 
tral Board at Madrid, 'La Suprema Junta da Sanidad/ are, 
at most, entirely under the control of the Local Board of 
Cadiz, who, by their arbitrary measures, greatly inconveni- 
ence and embarrass navigation, causing very frequently un- 
necessary detentions, and the incurring of heavy expenses, 
ordering vessels off to lazarettos — as only a quarantine of 
observation can be performed here — in the face of clean bills 
of health, upon mere reports, without any official information 
to warrant such extraordinary measures. Vessels clearing 
from ports having no quarantine communication with Cadiz 
are either ordered off or subjected to great annoyance and 
expense." 

Although somewhat irrelative, I deem it my duty to 
record the following : An important provision, which is to be 
found in no other commercial law of the world, exists in the 
Spanish Commercial Code. It is often criticized, although 
good reasons are alleged in its favor. It provides that 
foreign vessels anchored in Spanish ports shall not be de- 
tained for debts which have not been contracted within the 
Spanish dominions, and for the benefit of the said vessel : 
therefore a bottomry bond, signed by a master of an Ameri- 
can or other foreign vessel going to a Spanish port, can only 
be enforced upon the freight she may have earned, and in no 
case against the vessel herself. 

The following is an extract from my own despatch : "The 
quarantine regulations of the empire of Morocco are framed 
and carried into execution by the Consular corps, who are 
invested by the Sultan with all the attributes of a regularly 
constituted Board of Health, each Consul, in alphabetical 



FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 5 

order, assuming the powers and performing the duties of 
President ot the Month. In order that commercial relations 
between the ports of Morocco, Cadiz and Gibraltar may not 
be interrupted, the decisions of the Health Board of the latter 
ports, when applicable to Morocco, are invariably adopted at 
Tangier." 

I shall now have to digress a little in order to make plain 
the main point in this sketch. In the year 1856, the U. S. 
sloop-of-war Jamestown, the flagship of the African squad- 
ron, shortly after her arrival out to the coast of Africa, 
unfortunately touched at Madeira, where the cholera was 
prevailing, and was thus, in consequence of having a foul 
bill of health, debarred from entering TenerirTe or any of the 
ports of the Canary Islands, or, in fact, any other port in that 
part of the hemisphere. On that station, particularly, where 
it was so necessary, in consequence of the pestiferous miasma 
of the low lands lying along the coast, to keep off, after sun- 
set, three miles from the shore, and even to have the prin- 
cipal portion of the labor performed by the natives, instead 
of by the seamen ; and where, for the preservation of life, it 
was found so necessary occasionally to run over to some 
healthy port, this state of things was a subject of great con- 
sternation. Long did the officers of the ship ponder over it, 
but the dread prospect of being compelled to remain tabooed, 
until relieved at the expiration of their term of service on 
the station, still presented itself. 

Some months subsequent to their visit to Madeira, and 
when all suggestions and plans to enable them to see their 
way out of the difficulty had failed, a young lieutenant who 
happened, some years previously, to touch at Tangier in the 
U. S. Steamer Mississippi, remarked to his brother officers 
of the wardroom, that he believed the U. S. Consul at Tan- 
gier, on the Mediterranean station, was a member of the 
Sanitary Board of the empire of Morocco: that if the 
Jamestown ran up to Tangier he was of opinion the Consul 
could in some measure help them out of their dilemma. This 
suggestion not only met the approval of Capt. Bell, but of the 
Commodore, and the Jamestown was soon afterward on her 
wav to Tangier. On her arrival at that port, the Commo- 



6 FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 

dore declined holding communication with the sanitary offi- 
cer farther than to say that he had merely touched at Tangier 
for the purpose of communicating with the American Consul. 
He asked the sanitary officer to be kind enough to say to the 
Consul that for particular reasons, he begged him to do him 
the favor to dispense with the usual courtesy enjoined on 
commanders of men-of-war, of sending a boat on shore to 
invite the Consul on board, and that, in order to communicate 
to him personally some important intelligence, he hoped to 
have the pleasure of receiving a visit from him. 

On receipt of this verbal message, I hastened to comply 
with the wishes of the Commodore, and on entering his 
cabin, the foul bill of health was exhibited to me. It so hap- 
pened that I was then President of the Month, and the 
Jamestown being a man-of-war, I had a right, in accordance 
with the custom pursued by other members of the corps, to 
give her a clean bill of health, as American Consul, vise it as 
President of the Sanitary Board, and that without going 
through the form of submitting the matter to my colleagues. 
But this was not all. To enter a Spanish port, it was neces- 
sary to have the visa of the Spanish Charge d'Affaires at- 
tached to the bill of health. With Don Carlos de Espana, the 
Spanish Charge, I was on very intimate terms. I felt pretty 
sure I could depend on him. Therefore, when I was asked by 
the Commodore whether it was possible for me to aid him, I 
replied I thought it was. Capt. Bell, now in command of the 
Pacific Squadron, and Dr. Clymer, son-in-law of Admiral 
Shubrick, and the oldest surgeon in the Navy, were called 
into the cabin, and the good news announced to them. This 
soon reached the wardroom, then the forecastle, when the 
men, as I afterwards learned from Capt. Bell, asked permis- 
sion to give three hearty cheers. The cheers were being 
given as I descended from the Commodore's cabin to the 
wardroom, and when I left the ship a salute of thirteen gun? 
was given instead of eleven, as is customary in a harbor of 
the Barbary powers. In short, a clean bill of health was 
made out, the Board of Health visa attached, and I carried it 
to my Spanish colleague, told him exactly how I was situ- 
ated, and how much I depended on his aid. 



FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 7 

Without a word he took from me the document, and 
adding his visa and official seal, he said, as he returned it : 

"Sctior mio, there is much to object to in the quarantine 
regulations of Spain and Italy. We are here to give aid to 
our countrymen, as well as for other objects, and I deem it a 
privilege to aid a colleague either in forwarding the interests 
of commerce or in assisting men like your countrymen of the 
Jamestown, who at the peril of their lives are endeavoring to 
check an abominable traffic." 

This was the feeling that then, and with one single excep- 
tion since, pervaded the Consular Corps of Tangier. They 
were a little body of Christians in a semi-barbarous country, 
who, socially or officially, seemed more like a band of 
brothers than of men representing different nations ; and 
they had only to be approached in a proper spirit to be in- 
duced to interest themselves in any reasonable object desired 
to be accomplished. 

I relate the foregoing by way of preparation for what is 
to follow in reference to the American schooner Republican, 
and which will be found in striking contrast with the cour- 
tesy evinced toward the Jamestown ; my friend Senor Don 
Carlos de Espana, a partisan of Espartero, having, in the 
meantime, been superseded by Senor Don Juan Blanco del 
Valle, a partisan of O'Donnell,* and a deputy of the Cortes 
from Algeciras, a town in Spain directly opposite Gibraltar. 

On ascending, one morning, to the terrace of the consul- 
ate, which commanded a view of the bay of Tangier, I per- 
ceived, to my surprise, an American merchantman, lying at 
anchor in the most dangerous part of the bay. her position 
being so hazardous that I well knew that at low water she 
must inevitably be dashed to pieces on the rocks. At the 
same time I perceived the sanitary boat near her, and I won- 
dered whv the sanitary officer did not direct her to safe 



•Leopold O'Donnell, count of Lucena, duke of Tetuan, Spanish general 
and statesman, who in his earlier years had championed the fortunes of the 
queen-mother, Marie Christine. At the period of Mr. Brown's sketch, O'Donnell 
was at the height of his picturesque political career, having formed, the year 
l>efore (1858). a new Cabinet for Spain, in which he was both President of the 
Council and Minister of War. When Spain declared war against Morocco. Oct. 22, 
'859, O'Donnell became commander in chief of the army, winning glory and a 
new title, "Duke of Tetuan," from the campaign. He died in 1867. 



8 FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 

anchorage. It would soon be ebb-tide, and I became verv 
uneasy. It appeared to me the sanitary officer was trifling 
with time in order to render destruction to the vessel certain. 
I became so uneasy that I did what is never done for a mer- 
chant vessel, and only on the arrival of a man-of-war ; I 
raised the American flag. This had the desired effect. The 
sanitary boat hastened to the shore, and the sanitary officer 
made his appearance at the consulate. 

"What is the matter?" I asked. 

"I do not know," he replied. "I cannot exactly under- 
stand the captain, but I believe he is in trouble about a Span- 
ish visa to his bill of health. I have given him pratique, sub- 
ject to your and the President's orders, but directed him not 
to come on shore under an hour." 

"Why did you not pilot the vessel to a safe anchorage?" I 
demanded. "You know very well she must go to pieces 
within an hour if she remains in her present position. Go 
out to her, without delay, pilot the vessel to safe anchorage 
ground, tell the captain I will examine his papers and do 
what I can for him, and you shall be compensated for your 
trouble." 

The sanitary officer departed, and I returned to the ter- 
race, still uneasy for the safety of the vessel. There I re- 
mained looking out on the bay, but no sanitary boat appeared 
on the way to the apparently doomed vessel. I waited so 
long, that making up my mind there was foul play going on, 
I started on a run to the beach, where I found the sanitary 
officer and his crew, not taking a siesta, it is true, but seated 
with their backs against the Custom House, smoking cigar- 
ettes, and listening with evident attention and pleasure, to 
one of the itinerant Arabian storytellers who gain a liveli- 
hood by wandering through the country recounting many of 
the wonderful stories which are to be found in the "Arabian 
Nights," of caliphs, viziers, enchantment and much that in 
our schoolboy days possessed for us such fascination and 
interest. 

It is, perhaps, superfluous to say that the sanitary officer 
and his crew were not permitted, on that occasion, to hear 
the conclusion of the wonderful tale which had so interested 



FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 9 

them. The tide was running out and we were soon along- 
side of the Republican. Knowing there was no time to lose, 
I took the responsibility of boarding the vessel and directing 
the captain where to safely anchor her. 

This being attended to, Capt. Coville opened his case. It 
was no worse than I anticipated, and inasmuch as the sani- 
tary officer of Cadiz had kindly advised him to run over to 
Tangier, I thought perhaps he had added to his kindness by 
writing favorably to Don Juan Blanco del Valle, the Spanish 
Charge d' Affaires. But this was not so. Don Juan and the 
sanitary officer of Cadiz were not friends, and Don Juan, who 
had lately been appointed to Tangier, had repelled our ad- 
vances with all the hauteur of a Spanish hidalgo, so that 
not one of the chiefs of the corps was on intimate terms with 
him. This was unfortunate, for being avoided by all the 
corps, with the exception of a French attache, also lately 
arrived, and who, in the absence of his chief, was left in tem- 
porary charge of the French mission, Don Juan became 
soured and determined to have his revenge. The arrival of 
the Republican, with informal papers, afforded him the op- 
portunity. 

On my return to the town I found that Serior Blanco had 
addressed a letter to the President of the Month, denying 
the right of the Republican to obtain pratique, and insisting 
on her being ordered off. The contents of this letter were 
communicated in a circular to the Consular Corps. I en- 
deavored to conciliate my Spanish colleague as did the Presi- 
dent of the Month, by informing him that the Spanish visa 
required by the laws of Spain before entering a Spanish port 
was not necessary on entering a Moorish port; that with 
the exception of said visa, which could not be obtained either 
at Huron or at Montreal in consequence of no Spanish con- 
suls residing at either of those ports, the Republican's papers 
were all in order ; that through the kindness of the Belgian 
Consul I was permitted to give an extract from a letter 
received that day from the President of the Board of Health 
of Cadiz, which corroborated all that had been already said, 
and which, in addition, expressed a hope that the Board of 
Health of Morocco, and the Spanish Charge in particular, 



10 FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 

would facilitate the poor American to get his papers in such 
a shape as would enable him to return to Cadiz and dis- 
charge his cargo. 

All efforts at conciliation were unavailing. Blanco had 
the power to annoy, and he was not magnanimous enough to 
forego it. 

The Neapolitan, Swedish and Belgian consuls were kind 
enough to call on him in order to explain what had been the 
usage at Tangier, and to appeal to his sympathies in behalf 
of the master of a vessel so far from his own country, and 
whose cargo had been shipped for a Spanish market. These 
gentlemen met with no success. Blanco persisted in his de- 
mand, and also for the dismissal of the sanitary officer. The 
Board decided against his demands, and he sent in his resig- 
nation as a member of that body. Pending the acceptance of 
his resignation, he called on the President of the Board, Mr. 
Reade (a son of the late Gen. Sir Thomas Reade, second in 
command at the Island of St. Helena when Napoleon was a 
prisoner there), and expressed his profound regret at the 
course he had pursued towards the Republican. He said he 
was satisfied the papers of the Republican entitled her to 
pratique ; that he had been led into error through a letter 
received from Cadiz ; that by his resignation as a member 
of the Board he had placed himself in a false position, not 
only with the Board itself, but with his own Government ; 
that he had to express his gratification for the courtesy ex- 
tended toward him, and that if a little path (" un caminito") 
could be opened for him, he would most cheerfully withdraw 
his resignation. The President then called on me, and said : 

"Mr. Brown, we have carried our point — our courtesy, 
which Blanco referred to, has floored the Don. He admits 
his folly, he will of course grant his visa, and it devolves on 
you to open the way for his return." 

I cheerfully consented to do it. I expressed in the circu- 
lar the pain I had experienced at the announcement that we 
were to lose the valuable counsels of our honored colleague 
of Spain, and the regret that the arrival of a vessel from my 
own country should have been the cause ; that I trusted he 
would be induced to reconsider his resolution and reflect that 



FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 11 

in his resignation not only would the Board be deprived of 
the aid and assistance of an important member, but that the 
Government of Her Catholic Majesty would learn with re- 
gret that Spanish influence in the sanitary regulations of the 
empire of Morocco, a near neighbor, had been materially 
weakened by the resignation referred to of the diplomatic 
agent of Spain. 

This was all gammon, of course, for Den Juan had but 
lately arrived ; had had no experience, and was far more 
likely to obstruct than assist us in regulating the sanitary 
affairs of the empire. But I wanted his zisa, and my col- 
leagues wanted it quite as much as I did, for I had always 
cheerfully aided them in extricating from similar difficulties 
the vessels of their countrymen, and this was the first occa- 
sion they had been afforded to reciprocate. They therefore 
followed me in the circular, in the same eulogistic strain, and 
the Swedish Consul issued invitations for a soiree that eve- 
ning, at his consulate, in order to bring us all together and 
smooth over the little asperities that had been occasioned by 
this the first interruption, for a number of years, to our usual 
harmony. Blanco did not attend. 

Judge of our surprise, on reading in the circular, the fol- 
lowing day, a lengthy and pompous effusion from Blanco, to 
the effect, that the urgent solicitations of his honored col- 
leagues to withdraw the resignation he had felt it his duty to 
tender, placed him in a very painful position ; on the one 
side was his duty, a duty which nothing could prevent him 
from performing ; on the other the urgent solicitation of his 
associates not to withdraw from them his counsels in the 
regulation of the sanitary affairs of Morocco; that he had 
given the subject the most serious reflection, and he had de- 
cided to accede to the wishes of his colleagues and withdraw 
his resignation, which he now did, insisting at the same time 
that the American schooner Republican be ordered out of the 
bay — a courtesy which, he said, was due to the Government 
of Spain, whose authorities had decided not to admit her ; 
and a severe reprimand to be administered to the sanitary 
officer. 

A verv disagreeable controversv, the onlv one in which I 



12 FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 

participated during- my long residence in Morocco, then en- 
sued. I recapitulated the verbal statements of Blanco at his 
interview with the President of the Month. I said that an 
imposition on the Board had been practiced by some one, and 
I called on the President for an explanation. He replied by 
repeating the conversation at the personal interview, thus 
showing up Blanco to be a consummate humbug. Others 
participated in the controversy. Blanco lost temper, hazard- 
ed a menace, which being met in a proper spirit, he retired 
from the field humbled and discomfited, and was ever after- 
ward known under the soubriquet of "The Valiente." 

Failing to obtain the Spanish visa, the Republican sailed 
for Vigo, a port 1,000 miles distant from Tangier, and I for- 
warded a complaint with a copy of the correspondence, to 
Mr. Preston, our Minister at Madrid. Wishing to get rid of 
Blanco, the British Charge, Sir John Drummond Hay, who 
returned from abroad during the controversy, enclosed to 
Mr. Buchanan, the British Minister at Madrid, a copy of the 
correspondence about the Republican, expressing at the same 
time a hope that he would cooperate with Mr. Preston in 
bringing the affair to the notice of the Spanish Government. 

This was done. Mr. Preston and Mr. Buchanan pro- 
ceeded together to the Foreign Office, and in the interview 
with Calderon de la Barca, the Spanish Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, that gentleman expressed his annoyance at the dis- 
courteous and captious proceedings of Blanco, promised to 
give the subject prompt attention and lost no time in 
doing so. 

It so happens that I have in my possession, the original 
despatch received from Mr. Preston after that interview, and 
after his addressing Marshal O'Donnell on the subject. 
During the war between Spain and Morocco, the foreign rep- 
resentatives were all obliged to escape to Gibraltar. My per- 
sonal effects and the papers of the Government were all 
hastily placed on board a lateen, which ran on a sunken 
anchor in the bay of Gibraltar, filled and went down before 
the property could be got off. The papers and effects were 
subsequently recovered, but in such a confused state, that 



FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 13 

private and official papers were found huddled together. 
Thus it came into my hands.* 

In conclusion, I have to add that Senor Don Juan Blanco 
was subsequently withdrawn from Tangier, and satisfactory 
explanations tendered to Mr. Preston, who subsequently ad- 
dressed to me a despatch to the effect that if I would forward 
to him a statement of the losses incurred by the master of the 
Republican, in consequence of the unwarrantable interfer- 
ence of the Charge d'Affaires of Spain, in Morocco, he would 
recover tne amount and transmit the same to his address. 
Capt. Coville was then in Cadiz and I addressed him to that 
effect, but he replied through Messrs. Bensusen & Co. of 
that city, that he had already given me a great deal of 
trouble, and that although thankful to me for this additional 
evidence of friendship, he declined troubling me any farther. 
I reported to Mr. Preston the reply of Capt. Coville, and 
thus the affair ended. 

The Republican, having to beat all the way, was fourteen 
days in making the passage from Tangier to Vigo, the 
lazaretto of Spain. By the time she reached Vigo, Mr. Pres- 
ton had made his complaint to the Spanish Government, and 
orders had been transmitted to Vigo not to detain the Repub- 
lican, but to advise the captain to return to Cadiz. On the 
third day she therefore sailed for Cadiz, but being absent one 
month, the market for staves had in the meantime fallen $25 
a thousand, and the cargo had to be disposed of at $95 per 
thousand for pipes and $75 per thousand for hogsheads. 

The Republican then left Cadiz with a load of salt, was 
overtaken by the equinoctial gales, and, after being disabled, 
ran 800 miles to Fayal, one of the Azores, where she was de- 
tained two months repairing. That brought it so late that 
she could not return home via Quebec, and Capt. Coville was 
consequently obliged to proceed to New York. Half his salt 
having been washed out, he took on at Fayal, at an enormous 
freight, 2,000 boxes of oranges, and made between Fayal and 
New York, the quickest passage on record. 

•The despatch does not appear to have been deposited with the MS. of this 
narrative in the keeping of the Buffalo Historical Society; at any rate it has 
not been found. 



14 FROM LAKE ERIE TO MOROCCO. 

The Republican then conveyed a general cargo of mer- 
chandise to Mobile ; returned to New York ; sailed again for 
Mobile, and was wrecked on the Great Abico, one of the 
Bahama Islands, some seventy-five miles from Nassau. 
Capt. Colville succeeded, however, in getting out his cargo 
which he disposed of at Nassau. 

Thus ends my sketch of the diplomatic controversy occa- 
sioned by the visit of a gallant little craft from Lake Erie, 
with a Buffalo master, to the shores of the Don and the Mus- 
sulman, and her subsequent fate. 

Note — The foregoing narrative is a portion of an unpublished manuscript 
which has been in the possession of the Buffalo Historical Society for forty 
years. When it was written, in 1863, considerable attention was being paid to 
the development of trans-Atlantic trade in vessels from the Great Lakes. That 
portion of Mr. Brown's paper which we do not publish, discusses at length the 
possibilities of this trade, contingent on the condition of the Welland Canal and 
St. Lawrence route. For many years American-built vessels had found ready 
sale at the principal European ports, and at many a port on the Great Lakes 
vessel builders thought they saw prospective profits in sending home-built craft 
to Europe, even though there was no return voyage. The Lily of Kingston was 
the first vessel that passed down from the lakes to the ocean, bound for a 
European port. This was about 1847. She afterwards sailed in the Quebec and 
Liverpool trade, but was lost, it is believed, on her third ocean voyage. Prior 
to 1857 very few vessels passed down, via the Welland Canal and St. Lawrence, 
bound for Europe. The manuscript under notice gives a list of fifty-nine vessels 
which cleared from lake ports for Atlantic and European ports, between 1847 
and i860. Most of them sailed to Glasgow, Liverpool and London. In i860 
the Messenger cleared from Buffalo, the Pierson from Milan, O., the Massillon 
and Valeria from Cleveland and the Scott from St. Joseph, all for European 
ports. Several lake-built vessels engaged for a time in trade on the Medit- 
teranean and the Danube, and then returned to the lakes. Prior to 1863, Nor- 
wegian craft had come into the upper lakes, and returned with outward-bound 
cargo; and English railway iron had been unloaded on the Buffalo docks 
direct from the ships into which it had been loaded at Liverpool. The lake- 
ocean trade did not prove as profitable as some of the ship builders and lumber 
dealers had anticipated, and for many years, except in sporadic cases, it prac- 
tically ceased to exist. 



HISTORICAL PAPERS 



BY 



HENRY R. HOWLAND 



HISTORICAL PAPERS 

By HENRY R. HOWLAND. 



I. NAVY ISLAND 

AND THE 

FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 



From that day in 1679 when the Griffon, launched by 
LaSalle from his shipyard on the Little Niagara, spread her 
white sails to the favoring breeze on her adventurous voyage 
to Green Bay and returning laden with furs was lost in some 
fierce storm on Lake Michigan, until the British Conquest of 
Canada in 1760, the only attempt to follow in the path of 
Robert Cavelier as a ship builder was that of the Sieur de la 
Ronde Denis, Chevalier of the Order of St. Louis, one of 
the most picturesque figures in the story of New France. 
From the year 1687 he had served the King as an officer of 
Marines and had distinguished himself by his conspicuous 
bravery whereby he had achieved many successes that had 
won him favor at Court. Twice by the varied fortunes of 
war he had been captured in naval engagements with British 
fleets, and he knew the prisons of Ireland and England well. 
Much of his service had been on the American coast, with 
which he had grown very familiar, and twice he had served 
the Governor of New France with excellent tact and judg- 
ment and with reasonable success when sent to Boston on 
special missions of diplomacy in Acadian affairs.* 

In 1727 the Marquis de Beauharnois gave him the com- 
mand at Chegouamigon Bay on the southwestern shore of 

'Canadian Archives, Series F, Vol. 65, p. 125. 



S* 



17 



18 NAVY ISLAND AND THE 

Lake Superior, where, on Madelaine Island, which is called 
Isle de la Ronde on Bellin's map of 1744, the Ottawa mis- 
sion of La Pointe du Saint Esprit had been planted by the 
Jesuits as early as 1661. 

Here he built a fortified trading post, established friendly 
relations with the Indians and with his characteristic energy- 
began to explore the lake for the copper mines of which he 
heard report, and for the better furtherance of his purposes, 
some time prior to 1735,* constructed at his own expense a 
bark of forty tons burthen, being obliged to transport the 
rigging and materials for the vessel in canoes as far as Sault 
Ste. Marie. His shipyard was probably at Point aux Pins, 
seven miles above the Sault; and in this first of ships on 
Lake Superior, with his eldest son, afterwards commissioned 
Ensign Denis de la Ronde, he explored the coasts and islands 
to such effect that apparently in 1734 he was especially com- 
missioned from Quebec to undertake the discovery and ex- 
ploration of that famous copper region. 

An interesting letter written 13th October, 1735, by the 
Governor, de Beauharnois and the Intendant Hocquart to the 
Marquis de Maurepas,f gives details of de la Ronde's prog- 
ress in these discoveries and mentions that his associate, one 
Guillori, had just been sent to Montreal instructed to return 
by way of Detroit, bringing everything necessary for the con- 
struction and armament of another bark to be built in the 
following year, but no further mention is found of this sec- 
ond vessel nor does de la Ronde himself mention it in his 
detailed report to the Minister of his discoveries, written in 
1739, in which, however, he expresses a strong desire to col- 
onize the Lake Superior mining region, praising its climate 
and its soil, and wishes to build a ship of 80 tons at Detroit to 
take provisions and cattle to the Sault, where he would carry 
them by portage half a league to reembark them on his pres- 
ent vessel.^ 

This plan, too, failed of its accomplishment, and the bark 
first built by de la Ronde seems to have been the only one. It 



•1731? See Minnesota Hist. Socy. Col., Vol. V, p. 425. 
fCanadian Archives, Series F, Vol. 6j, p. 55- 
JCanadian Archives, Series F, Vol. 6s. p. 125. 



FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 19 

is undoubtedly to this vessel that Captain Jonathan Carver 
alludes in his account of Lake Superior in 1768. He states 
that the French while they were in possession of Canada 
had kept a small schooner on the lake.* 

Of the excellent use which de la Ronde made of his bark 
in explorations of Lake Superior, and of its fate, we learn 
somewhat from a letter written by the well-known fur-trader, 
Benjamin Frobisher, to Dr. Mabane from Montreal, 19th 
April, 1784. He urges the establishment of a fortified post 
at Point aux Pins to command the entrance of Lake Superior, 
and adds : "Such a settlement would prove of public utility, 
and in the course of a few years give an opportunity to con- 
tinue those searches on the North Side that were begun by 
the French and recently by Mr. Baxter, the former were 
obliged to relinquish their prospects from the only vessel 
they had on the Lake, being lost about the time this Country 
was Conquered. "t 

So, with this single exception, the waters of the upper 
lakes as well as those of Lake Erie saw no other boats tjian 
the canoes and bateaux of the Indians and the French during 
the period of French supremacy. Many of the French ba- 
teaux, however, were of large size and were sometimes 
spoken of as "vessels." La Hontan describes the canoes of 
the voyageurs and says : "When the season serves they carry 
little sails," and the British trader Alexander Henry in his 
"Travels" (p. 14) says: "The canoes are worked not with 
oars but with paddles and occasionally with a sail." 

Such far-seeing eyes as those of Frontenac were open to 
the need of sailing vessels on Lake Erie, and he urges their 
importance in his letter to the King, November 2, i68i,J but 
the royal eyes were not as his own and nothing came of the 
appeal. 

Capt. Pouchot, the French Commandant of Fort Niagara 
at the time of its capture in 1759, in his description of Lake 
Erie expresses his regret that the French had not built suit- 

•"Travels through the Interior Parts of North America." by J. Carver. 
Edition 1779. p. 134. 

tCanadian Archives B, Vol. 75-2, p. 7S- 
J Docs. Col. Hist. N. Y.. Vol. IX., p. M7- 



20 NAVY ISLAND AND THE 

able vessels for its navigation. He says : "Lake Erie has 
never been circumnavigated by any one capable of giving an 
exact account of the bearing of its shores, the depths of its 
bays, and the anchorages that occur, or the posts that might 
be established to derive advantage from its navigation. . . 
. . It is to be observed that they only navigate this lake in 
bark canoes and very seldom in bateaux except from the Ni- 
agara River to Presque Isle. They never go except along the 
shores which are shallow, although a little distance out it is 
deep enough. It would have been useful to have built a 
small vessel with which from the month of May to the end of 
September, when the weather is always good, to sound and 
reconnoitre all the shelters around the lake, and then we 
might build vessels proper for this navigation which would 
have saved great labor and expense. "* 

In July, 1760, Colonel Henry Bouquet of the Sixtieth 
Regiment of Foot (the Royal Americans) was at Presqu' 
Isle (the present site of Erie, Pa.), with 100 Virginians and 
150 Pennsylvania levies, building the royal blockhouse 
and establishing that military post, where he constructed 
four bateaux and a "Flatt," which was probably a large open 
scow provided with sloop-rigged sails. To his keen vision 
"coming events cast their shadows before," and realizing the 
necessities of the near future he wrote on the 15th of Septem- 
ber, 1760, to General Robert Monckton at Fort Pitt: 

"But a Vessel will be wanted next year I think the Tim- 
ber should be cut and the Boards, Planes, etc., be prepared at 
the Landing- Place at Niagara so as to be finished early next 
Spring. If you should approve of it, you will please to let 
me know how many of the carpenter- to send there, and as 
no more men can be spared from this place than will carry 
on the Batteau Service, Major Walters ought to have your 
orders to furnish a party from Niagara to cut and saw the 
Timber and assist the Ship Carpenter."f 

Major Robert Rogers' detachment of 200 Rangers 
stopped at Presqu' Isle in October, 1760, when on its way to 

•"Memoirs of the Late War in North America," by M. Pouchot, F. B. 
Hough's translation, Vol. II., pp. 157 and 159. 

t Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., Vol. A 8, p. 174. 



FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 21 

take possession of Detroit, and after Captain Donald Camp- 
bell with his ioo regulars had come up from Fort Pitt and 
had set out from Presqu' Isle November 2nd to reinforce 
the Rangers, Colonel Bouquet wrote to Monckton : "From 
the 1st of October the wind has blown without Interruption 
and continues still from the S. W. and almost every day 
heavy squalls and storms. One of our large Battoes was 
staved and two of the Rangers with the loss of 33 Bar- 
rels of Provisions the Rest arrived in a most shattered con- 
dition and the 24th the Sloop after having been twice near 
this Post was blown off and I fear is either perished or has 
been put back to Niagara. I have sent three times in quest 
of her, without success, she has a Boat with her and eighty 
Barrels of Provisions."* 

The "Sloop" to which he refers was undoubtedly the 
"Flatt" which he had built at Presqu' Isle for transporting 
provisions from Niagara, in its modest way the first of Brit- 
ish sailing vessels on Lake Erie. 

January 14, 1761, he wrote from Fort Pitt to General 
Monckton, who was probably at New York, "Mr. Vaughen 
is arrived and left Detroit well supplied till the Spring, 
when they must have meat and flour, as they have a differ- 
ent number of Battoes if Niagara can supply them they can 

do well till the Vessel is built I enclose you the 

list of Naval Stores etc. wanted for the construction of a 
deck'd vessel on Lake Erie, if they cannot be had at Oswego 
any Ship builder at New York or Philadelphia can provide 
them. . . . The Flat is not much hurt and Capt. 
Wheeler of the Rangers took back to Niagara the little Boat 
left with her."t 

It would appear, however, that the "Flat" had been the 
victim of the autumn gales and had been blown ashore, for 
there is an apparent reference to this vessel in a letter dated 
Detroit, June 1, 1761, from Captain Donald Campbell to 
Colonel Bouquet : 

"I forgot to mention to you in my last that Lieut. Lesslye 
says that the Vessel that was cast away last year on the north 

•Canadian Archives Bouquet Col., Vol. A 8, p. 221; the letter is not dated. 
tCanadian Archives Bouquet Col., Vol. A 8, p. 232. 



22 NAVY ISLAND AND THE 

side of the Lake might with very little Trouble be made fitt 
for service. I do not know if they intend any such for the 
Lake, such a vessel would be of great Service from this to 
Michillimackinac, as the last is very deep and good naviga- 
tion. The French Batteaux we have found here are of a 
good size. I have been only able to repair five of them for 
want of pitch."* Once again Bouquet reminded Monckton 
of this necessity, writing from Fort Pitt June 20, 1761, "If 
we had a vessel upon Lake Erie it would be of great service 
to support the advanced Posts,"t to which the General re- 
plied from New York July 12, 1761 : "In regard to the ves- 
sel the Genl is not yet determined about it as by the Acct of 
the Officers that have been over the Lake the Shores they 
met with make it a very dangerous navigation, tho' between 
Presqu' Isle and Niagara I believe it would doe very well."+ 

It would appear, however, that when writing from New 
York he had not been fully informed of Sir Jeffrey Amherst's 
decisions, for on the 13th of July from Philadelphia, Monck- 
ton wrote to Bouquet, "The General had wrote me some days 
before that Sir William Johnson was well off to Detroit, to 
have a meeting with the Indians (of which I acquainted you 
in my last) and that two vessels are building above the 
Fails."§ 

June 30, 1761, Major William Walters, then in command 
at Fort Niagara, wrote to Colonel Bouquet: "Lieutenant 
Robertson with carpenters and materials has arrived to build 
the vessels on Lake Erie,'' 1 ,! and in a letter of August 24th the 
Major complained that he had been greatly hurried that sum- 
mer by various matters, including "assisting in building two 
vessels for Lake Erie."lj In Sir William Johnson's diary of 
his journey to and from Detroit in the summer of 1761 he 
writes at Fort Niagara Sunday. July 26th : "At seven in the 
morning I set off with Colonel Eyre, Lieutenant Johnson, my 
son and DeCouagne, for the island whereon the vessel is 

'Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 16, p. 219. 
tCanadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 23-1, p. 89. 
^Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 8, p. 245. 
SCanadian Archives, Bouquet Co!., A 8, p. 303. 
||Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 16, p. 86. 
f Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 17, p. 121. 



FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 23 

building for exploring the lakes Huron and Michigan, which 
island is about two miles from Little Niagara, on the place 
where Shabear Jean Coeur lived. . . . The Schooner, 
building upon the island, was in such forwardness as to be 
ready to launch in about ten days, but was put a stop to in 
order to build a boat, pinnace fashion for Major Gladwin's 
service. . . . Dined with John Dies after which Colonel 
Eyre went in a boat to explore the Chippaway river, the en- 
trance of which is about two miles above the Great Falls. 
In another branch of said river, our people found a great 
quantity of pine planks of several dimensions, sawed by 
hand, which they used in making the vessels." 

This John Dies, who was evidently the master ship build- 
er, had been prior to this in the Government service at Crown 
Point and elsewhere during the French War and his name 
occurs frequently in the elder (James) Montresor's journals. 
The shipyard was on Navy Island in the west branch of the 
Niagara River about a mile above the entrance to Chippewa 
Creek where the sawed timbers left by the French had proved 
so opportunely serviceable. Upon the French maps Navy 
Island is called Isle-la-Marine, and doubtless took its name 
from its use by the French when building their bateaux. 

In allusion to this also the Senecas called it Ga-o'-wah-ge- 
waah, — "the big canoe island."* Its subsequent use by the 
British doubtless confirmed their opinion as to the peculiar 
fitness of their name. 

While Sir William Johnson was at Detroit the schooner 
was launched and taken up the river to an anchorage some- 
where near Squaw Island, for upon his return Sir William 
notes in his diary Sunday, October 4, 1761 : "The land on 
the other side of the lake is in view. Embarked at 7 o'clock 
and rowed near shore about six miles. Then set off across 
for the river (Niagara) where we met Captain Robinson 
sounding. It is three, four and five fathoms water near the 
mouth of the river. We weiit on board the Schooner which 
lay about a mile from the entrance of the lake in the river, 
where the current runs six knots an hour. She has about 
ninety barrels of provisions on board and twenty-four bar- 

"The Niagara Frontier," by O. H. Marshall, p. 27. 



24* NAVY ISLAND AND THE 

rels for Gage's sutler. Dined on board and left the vessel 
about 5 o'clock and encamped about ten miles down the 
river/' 

This was the schooner Huron, the first decked sailing ves- 
sel to plow the waters of Lake Erie since the days of the 
Griffon. Lieut. Schlosser wrote to Col. Bouquet August 22, 
1761, that she drew seven feet of water when loaded and car- 
ried six guns and was "to be commanded by Lieut. Robert- 
son of Montgomery's Regiment."* 

On the 5th of October, 1761, Sir William Johnson wrote 
in his diary : "Called to see Jno. Dies on the island where he 
is building a sloop which will not be finished this season he 
says, as he goes down in a fortnight, his men being sickly." 

This second vessel was the sloop traditionally known to 
us as the Beaver, built to carry ten guns,f which apparently 
was not completed and launched until late in 1762. 

Whether the equipment of the schooner Huron was in- 
complete does not appear, but it was many months before 
she made her trial voyage to Detroit and in the meantime the 
patience of the little garrison at that post w r as sorely tried by 
the delay. October 5, 1761, Capt. Donald Campbell wrote 
to Capt. Elias Meyer at Sandusky: "Noe accounts of the 
Vessel being in the Lake, she has but fifteen Barrels of flour 
on Board, and none at Niagara, a Poor Prospect for this 
Place and the Posts depending." J 

October 12, 1761, he writes to Colonel Bouquet: 'There 
is noe account of the Vessel being come out of the River, she 
is chiefly loaded with Pork, there is no flour at Niagara, they 
expect it by way of Oswegatchie.§ 

He again wrote to Colonel Bouquet November 8, 1761 : 
"Major Wilkins writes me they despair of the vessels get- 
ting in to the lake this season which is a great disappoint- 
ment to this Post."|| And again, 28th November, 1761 : 
"The vessel is now Dispaired of here and all our dependens 
on three Batteaux from Niagara which we expect Daily.'Ti 

'Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., Vol. V. A 17, p. 116. 
tCanadian Archives, Bouquet Col., Vol. V. A 17, P- 116. 
X Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 17, p. 225. 
\ Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 17, p. 238. 
8 Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 17, p. 277. 
% Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 17, p. 304. 



FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 25 

No further reference occurs to either vessel until August 
I, 1762, when Capt. Joseph Schlosser writes from Niagara 
to Colonel Bouquet: 'The vessel is out of the River and I 
believe already arrived at Detroit,"* and August 26, 1762 
Captain Campbell advises Colonel Bouquet "The Vessel is 
arrived but brought only 40 Barrels of Provisions. . . . 
The vessel is to proceed to Michillima*ckinac tho' she has got 
but little Provisions on board. "f 

On the 4th of September, 1762, Captain George Ethering- 
ton wrote from Detroit to Colonel Bouquet : "I was in hopes 
to have gone in the Schooner to Michillimackinac, but the 
master of her who has been sounding Lake St. Clair is re- 
turned and says there is not water enough to get the vessel 
into the River Huron, so that I leave this to-morrow in Bat- 
teaux."J September 24, 1762, Lieut. Jehu Hay wrote from 
Detroit to Bouquet : "As you have undoubtedly heard that 
there is not water enough in Lake St. Clair to carry the Ves- 
sel through to Lake Huron, I flatter myself the Inclosed 
copy of a sketch of that Lake taken by Mr. Brehm, will not 
be disagreeable, especially as you will see the great difference 
between the depth of the water at the time Mr. Brehm 
sounded it, and what it is at the present as sounded by Capt. 
Robinson of the Schooner Huron, the third and fourth In- 
stant, which it is suppos'd must be caused by some moving 
sand banks, and not by the falling of the water, as some 
imagine, for notwithstanding the water in the Upper Lakes 
ebbs (as we are informed) for several years successively, yet 
the greatest difference that has been known in the depth of 
the water here, has not exceeded five feet."§ 

It has been generally supposed that the schooner which 
bore so gallant a part in the defence of Detroit in 1763 was 
called the Gladwin. Parkman speaks of the vessels as ' k two 
small armed schooners, the Beaver and the Gladwin," || and 
his error has been constantly repeated. None of the con- 
temporaneous narratives gives the names of the vessels, but 

* Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 18-2, p. 321. 
t Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., Vol. 18-2, p. 387. 
X Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., Vol. 182, p. 396. 
g Canadian Archives, Bouquet Col., A 18, p. 418. 
I Conspiracy of Pontiac, Vol. 1, p. 224. 



26 NAVY ISLAND AND THE 

the evidence of Lieut. Jehu Hay is confirmed by the report in 
the Gladwin MSS. of a Court of Inquiry held at Detroit July 
8, 1763, when Lieut. Cuyler stated that at the time of the 
taking of Presqu' Isle by the Indians, June 20-22, 1763, he 
was on board the schooner Huron on his return from Ni- 
agara to Detroit.* 

The anonymous "Drary of the Siege of Detroit" makes it 
very clear that at that time there were but two sailing ves- 
sels upon the lake, invariably referred to as "the Schooner" 
and "the Sloop," and as "the Schooner," according to that 
authority reached Detroit June 30, 1763, with provisions and 
ammunition and with a reinforcement of fifty men, its iden- 
tity with the Huron is clearly established. Moreover, it ap- 
pears by an "Official return July 30, 1778, of all vessels built 
on the lakes since the year I759"t preserved at Ottawa, that 
the Gladwin was not built until 1764. 

Both the Huron and her companion the Beaver, if that 
was really the sloop's name, were of the greatest service to 
the beleaguered garrison of Detroit in its defense against the 
tireless efforts of Pontiac and his followers during the mem- 
orable siege. With their guns they could protect two sides of 
the fort, and leaving their anchorage as they did on several 
occasions they could and did carry terror to the Indian 
camps. The savages tried to destroy them by twice sending 
down blazing fire rafts which fortunately floated past them 
without doing injury. On the 13th of August, 1763, both 
the Huron and the Beaver sailed for Niagara to procure 
much-needed supplies and reinforcements and reached their 
destination safely. On the night of the 3d of September the 
Huron returning loaded with provisions, entered the Detroit 
River. Her master's name was Horst, the mate's name was 
Jacobs and they had a crew of ten men. With them were 
six Iroquois Indians, supposed to be friendly, who were un- 
wisely set ashore in the morning and beyond doubt went at 
once to Pontiac, for after nightfall of September 4th. when 
anchored about nine miles below the fort, the schooner was 
attacked by 350 Indians in their birch canoes. The 



•Gladwin's MSS., Mich. Pioneer & Hist. Socy. Col., Vol. 27, p. 637. 
tCanadian Archives, Haidimand Col., B 144. P- 97- 



FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 27 

crew made a gallant defense, but the captain and two 
of his men were killed, four were seriously wounded 
and the vessel would have been captured had not the mate 
Jacobs called out to blow up the schooner. This caused a 
panic among the savages, who escaped as best they could, 
not daring to renew the attack, and on the following day, 
September 5th, the Huron reached the fort. General Am- 
herst caused a "Relation of the Gallant Defense'' of the 
schooner to be published in the New York papers and or- 
dered a medal to be struck and presented to each of the men. 

The sloop Beaver was less fortunate than her consort. 
She sailed from the Niagara River about the 26th or 27th of 
August, 1763, with provisions and supplies, "with about 
eighteen officers and men of the 17th and 46th Regiments" 
under command of Captain Hope (17th) and Lieutenant 
(afterwards Captain) John Montresor of the Engineers, 
whose well-known name now appears for the first time in 
the history of the Niagara frontier.* 

She had brought with her from Detroit a lad of seventeen 
named John Rutherford, whose experiences as related by 
himself furnish one of the most interesting episodes in the 
story of Pontiac's war. He was a nephew of Walter Ruther- 
ford of New York, a partner in the trading firm of Living- 
ston, Rutherford & Syme of Detroit, and had been sent by 
his uncle in charge of goods for James Sterling, the manag- 
ing partner at that post. At the outbreak of hostilities he 
had been captured by the savages and adopted by a Chippewa 
chief. After having been purchased from his master by a 
French habitant, one Antoine Cuillierier, moved by his 
friendship for Sterling, who, after the war ended, married 
his daughter Angelique, the lad was again made captive, but 
aided by a Frenchman whom Sterling had bribed, he escaped 
to the fort, much to his own joy and that of his friends. 
When the Beaver sailed for Niagara Sterling had obtained 
leave from Major Gladwin to have some goods for his firm 
brought back by her from Niagara and requested young 
Rutherford to take charge of them. "Being anxious," he 

•Letter Genl. Amherst to Col. Bouquet, September 25, 1763. Canadian 
Archives, Bouquet Col., A 4, p. 413. 



28 NAVY ISLAND AND THE 

says, ''to do what office was in my power, for the benefit of 
a company with which my uncle was connected, I agreed to 
run the hazard of the undertaking- and accordingly em- 
barked on board the ship." His story of the ill-fated return 
voyage is graphic. "We had only set sail one day, when the 
vessel sprang a leak, and was half filled with water before it 
was observed. The pumps were all set agoing, but were of 
little use, so after having thrown all the heavy artillery and 
some other, things overboard, we found that the only way to 
save ourselves was to crowd sail to the land and run the ves- 
sel ashore ; but it was the opinion of all that she would go to 
the bottom before this could be effected. While dread and 
consternation were depicted on the countenance of every one, 
I was surprised to find myself the least moved on the occa- 
sion, which must have been owing to my having been so 
much exposed and inured to danger some time previous. At 
a time when all were agitated in a lesser or greater degree, 
some stripping to swim, others cursing, swearing and upbraid- 
ing their companions for not working enough at the pumps, 
others praying, besides some who were drinking, I looked 
calmly on the scene, after I had become conscious I could be 
of no more use. When we were at the worst, and expecting 
every one to go down, one boat which was our last hope 
broke adrift; then, indeed, our situation was a dismal one. 
The cries and shrieks of a naval officer's lady with three 
children affected me much more than my own condition. It 
was really a piteous sight ; the mother held two of her chil- 
dren in her arms, while the other little innocent was making 
a fruitless attempt to stop the water with her hands which 
was running into the cabin, and already flooded it to the 
depth of several inches. 'She did this,' she said, 'to prevent 
the water from drowning her mamma.' x\t last, to the inex- 
pressible joy of all on board, the vessel struck upon a sand 
bank within fifty yards of the shore. The difficulty now was 
how to be conveyed to land, which it was desirable should be 
done with immediate haste, as we every moment dreaded 
being dashed to pieces by the violence of the surf of the lake. 
In this situation we should have been much at a loss, had 
not Captain Montresor of the Engineers, bravely undertaken 



FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 29 

to swim ashore to endeavor to bring off the boat which had 
stranded there. The distance was considerable and the 
waves running high and there was much danger of Indians 
being there on the watch ; he, nevertheless, accomplished the 
bold adventure, and brought off the boat, by which means we 
all got safely on the shore."* 

Here they made a rudely fortified camp with a breastwork, 
maintaining themselves against straggling parties of Indi- 
ans until Captain Gavin Cochrane (6oth) with boats and as- 
sistance reached them from Niagara. Rutherford says that 
they finally ''marched over the carrying place at the Falls 
just three days after the Indians had defeated our troops in 
a rencontre. We saw about eighty dead bodies, unburied, 
scalped and sadly mangled." This would fix the date of 
their return as September 16, 1763, the massacre at the 
Devil's Hole having occurred September 13th, and is not 
consistent with his statement that they were detained at their 
fortified camp twenty-four days, for the wreck of the Beaver 
is stated by General Amherst to have occurred August 28th f 
and the "Diary of the Siege of Detroit" states, "October 3d. 
The Schooner again returned to the Fort, in her came Capt. 
Montresor who informed us that the Sloop was lost the 28th 
of August between Presqu' Isle and Niagara and the Provi- 
sions and Guns were all lost except 185 Barrels which they 
brought in the Schooner ; the Rigging was all carried to Ni- 
agara." 

A letter from Colin Andrews to Sir William Johnson is 
dated "Cat Fish Creek, fourteen miles in Lake Erie Sept. 
9th, 1763," and states, 'The 8th ultimo we have been cast 
away at this place. "J This was apparently simply a clerical 
error in writing the date. Mr. O. H. Marshall identifies this 
location of the wreck of the Beaver as being near the mouth 
of Eighteen Mile Creek, where in 181 1 remains of an old 



•Rutherford's Narrative, Transactions Canadian Institute, September, 1893, 
p. 229. See also Publications Buffalo Historical Society, Vol. V., pp. 1-4- 

f Amherst to Bouquet, September 25, 1763; Can. Archives, Bouquet Col., 
A 4. p. 413. 

% Unpublished MSS. Sir Wm. Johnson, in N. Y. State Library, Vol. VII., 
p. 142. 



80 NAVY ISLAND AND THE 

stockade were discovered and where on the beach close at 
hand, two small cannon were found.* 

As to the subsequent career of the schooner Huron the 
records are silent. With the raising of the siege of Detroit 
she disappears from view and as no mention is made o-f her 
in the following year, it seems probable that like her consort. 
she, too, was wrecked and that both of these vessels, the first 
ships to sail Lake Erie since the Griffon's voyage, in each 
case after a brave service sadly ended, found their graves 
beneath its stormy waters, as have so many that have fol- 
lowed them in the growth from those small beginnings, of 
the mighty commerce of our lakes to-day. Both the Huron 
and the Beaver had practically demonstrated the need of 
more vessels of a like character for lake service and the Navy 
Island shipyard was a busy spot in the autumn of 1763 and 
throughout the following year. 

October 29, 1763, General Amherst wrote from New 
York to General Bradstreet: "I arrived here on Thursday 
morning and gave Immediate Orders for getting Ready the 
Iron Work for the Schooners that are Intended to be Built 
for the Service of Lake Erie &c. A sufficiency for one of 60 
Tons, with the Rigging, will be sent on Saturday next; & 
Preparation shall be made for two more and sent up as fast 
as Possible ; I need not Desire You to Forward the whole in 
the best manner you can."f 

The schooner Victory was apparently the first of these 
new ships from the Navy Island shipyard. According to the 
"Official return July 30th, 1778," previously mentioned, the 
Victory carried six guns and the work of her construction 
was so expedited that she was launched before the close of 
navigation in 1763, and at once made her first voyage to De- 
troit, where she wintered. In April, 1764, Captain John 
Montresor was ordered to Niagara to construct defensive 
works along the portage and incidentally to "entrench the 
Navy Yard," and in his Journal under date of May 6th he 
mentions that "the Schooner Victory sailed from Detroit 



♦Publications Buffalo Hist. Socy., Vol. I., p. 212. 

t Unpublished MSS., Bradstreet & Amherst, N. Y. State Library, p. 141. 



FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 81 

April 20th/' and added that "the river of Detroit was open 
the first day of March." 

According to the "Official return" (1778) a sloop of 
eight guns had been built at Navy Island in 1763, and Mon- 
tresor's journal gives credence to this statement. May 5, 
1764, while at Oswego, he notes the arrival of two vessels 

from Niagara bringing accounts "that the Sloop , 

had arrived from Detroit loaded and departed back from 
thence," and while at Niagara his journal evidently refers to 
the same vessel in an entry June 12, 1764, "Sailed the Sloop 
to the Detroit." 

June 20th his journal states : "Two vessels now launched 
from Navy Island and the 3rd on the Point. By advice from 
the Rapids the Schooner first launched got safe up the 
Rapids and into Lake Erie." 

June 27th, "The Schooner (the second) is at the foot of 
the Rapids yet. The 2 new Schooners carry 200 Barrels each 
and the old one 200, which makes 1100 each trip." 

July 2nd, "The 2d Schooner got into Lake Erie." 

July 3rd, "The Schooner that got up the Rapids last 
night into the Lake was hauled up by 150 men without the 
benefit of either wind or the Capstans and loaded with Three 
Hundred Barrels of Provisions for Detroit." According to 
the "Official return," these were the schooner Gladwin of 
eight guns and the schooner Boston with a similar arma- 
ment. Montresor's journal states that the Gladwin sailed for 
Detroit July 4th and returned to Fort Erie July 19th. The 
Boston was at Detroit July 27th, but perhaps upon her second 
voyage. In the meantime the sloop Royal Charlotte of ten 
guns, had been launched from Navy Island and sailed for the 
river entrance July 4th. She was built, Montresor said, 
"chiefly for the navigation of Lake Huron." 

All of these vessels were kept busily employed during the 
year 1764. While Montresor was at Detroit, whither he had 
accompanied Bradstreet's expedition, he notes in his journal 
September 19th, that "the Sloops and 2 Schooners" were 
anchored by the fort and that the Gladwin had been sent to 
Michillimackinac with provisions. The "Diary of the Siege 
of Detroit" mentions under date of October 20, 1764: "This 



82 NAVY ISLAND AND THE 

day the Sloop Charlotte sail'd for Fort Erie with 21 Packs of 
Peltry; being the last of 1464 Packs that were sent from 
this since last April." 

The "Official return" states that the sloop of eight guns 
built in 1763 (whose name we do not know) was "cast away 
in 1764." It is somewhat curious that the same authority 
states concerning the schooner Victory and the schooner 
Boston, that each was "laid up and burned by accident." No 
dates are given, but at the close of 1766 both vessels had 
gone into winter quarters at Navy Island and January 2, 
1767, Sir William Johnson wrote to General Gage : "I have 
received Letters from Niagara informing me of the burning 
of one of the Vessels at Navy Island on 30th Nov. last, which 
was at first ascribed to the Indians, but the Commissary with 
others went thither the next morng to view the remains and 
made a Report to the Commanding Officer in writing from 
which and from the substance of his Letter it appears that a 
party of Men had set out before day Light on that day for 
Fort Erie and it being very Cold and the Crossing tedious 
had probably kindled a fire wch was it seems usual and 
which they did not take sufficient pains to Extinguish, there 
does not appear any probability of the Indians having done 
this, or that they should destroy one Vessel when they might 
as easily have burned both."* 

The Gladwin saw several years of useful service. In his 
"Travels" Capt. Jonathan Carver states: "In June, 1768, I 
left Michillimackinac and returned in the Gladwyn Schooner. 
a vessel of about Eighty tons burthen over Lake Huron to 
Lake St. Claire where we left the ship and proceeded in 
boats to Detroit."! At that time her master's name was 
Jacobs, evidently the gallant mate of the Huron whose cour- 
age had saved the vessel from capture by the savages in Sep- 
tember, 1763, but he would seem to have been a reckless soul, 
for Carver further states : "The Gladwin Schooner which I 
since learn was lost with all her crew on Lake Erie, through 



*Doc. Hist. N. Y., Vol II., pp. 483, 485. 

t'Travels through the Interior Parts of North America," by J. Carver. Edition 
1779. P- 150. 



FIRST SUCCESSORS TO THE GRIFFON. 33 

the obstinacy of her Commander who could not be persuaded 
to take in sufficient ballast."* 

This must have occurred subsequent to June 26, 1770, for 
in a letter of that date to General Haldimand, General Gage 
mentions the "bad state" of both the Gladwin and the Char- 
lotte and suggests that their material may be used for a m v 
vessel.t 

According to the "Official return," however, the slo^ 
Royal Charlotte "remained in service till decayed." She was 
the last of the King's ships built on Navy Island, but this 
once famous though now forgotten shipyard furnished the 
seven ships that were the first of the Royal Navy on Lake 
Erie and the Upper Lakes. 

♦"Travels through the Interior Parts of North America," by J. Carver. Edition 
1779, P. 155- 

t Canadian Archives, Haldimand papers, B. 19, p. 127. 



1745979 

II. THE NIAGARA PORTAGE 



AND ITS 



FIRST ATTEMPTED SETTLEMENT UNDER 
BRITISH RULE. 



The summer of 1761 was by no means a happy one for Sir 
William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the 
Crown "in the Northern Parts of North America." The 
western Indians were restless under the recent British occu- 
pancy of the posts, and felt that they were treated with parsi- 
mony and neglect in marked contrast to the bountiful pater- 
nalism of French rule; they were exasperated by the con- 
tinual intrusion of white settlers upon their lands, and 
French emissaries were active in stirring up their resent- 
ment. This feeling of discontent was shared by his own 
especial wards, the Six Nations of the Iroquois, and the Sen- 
ecas, who were the hereditary keepers of the Western Door of 
the Long House, were at the point of open rebellion. On the 
17th of June Captain Donald Campbell, in command at De- 
troit, sent a messenger to Major William Walters at Fort 
Niagara with the alarming intelligence that the Senecas had 
sent war belts to the western tribes, urging them to take up 
the hatchet in furtherance of a general plot to surprise all the 
posts, including Niagara and Fort Pitt. It was time for 
prompt action, and General Amherst ordered a detach- 



* 



36 NIAGARA PORTAGE AND ITS 

merit of 300 men under command of Major Henry 
Gladwin sent to the relief of the Northern posts and at the 
same time requested Sir William Johnson to visit Niagara 
and Detroit to conciliate the Senecas and the western tribes, 
as well as to regulate the fur trade and correct its abuses. 
The Superintendent was wise and tactful in his dealings with 
the Indians, and his influence was potent with the Six Na- 
tions. On the 24th of July Sir William reached Fort Niag- 
ara, which he had besieged and captured from the French in 
1759. Here he promptly began the arduous duties of his 
special mission, holding councils with and listening to the 
complaints of the neighboring tribes. Soon, however, he 
encountered what seems to have been a disagreeable surprise, 
mentioned in his diary under date of Sunday, July 26th : 

"At seven in the morning I set off with Colonel Eyre, 
Lieutenant Johnson,* my son,t and DeCouagne,± for the 
island,§ whereon the vessel is building for exploring the 
Lakes Huron and Michigan, which island is about two miles 
from Little Niagara, on the place where Shabear Jean Coeur 
lived. There is a house built within quarter of a mile of said 
place by one Stirling for the use of the Company, viz : Ruth- 
erford, Duncan etc., who intend to monopolize the whole 
carrying place by virtue of a permit from General Amherst." 

Three days later (July 29, 1761,) he wrote from Niagara 
to General Amherst, reporting a meeting with several chiefs 
of the "Chipewaigh" nation "and some Mississageys," and 
added: "I see plainly that there appears to be an universal 
jealousy amongst every nation, on account of the hasty steps 
they look upon we are taking towards getting possession of 
this country, which measures, I am certain, will never subside 
whilst we encroach within the limits which, you may recol- 
lect, have been put under the protection of the King in the 
year 1726, and confirmed to them by him and his successors 
ever since, and by orders sent to the governors not to allow 
any of his subjects settling thereon ; which they were ac- 

*Lieutenant Guy Johnson of the "Independents," his nephew, who was his 
private secretary. 

tjohn Johnson, afterward Sir John Johnson, his successor in office. 
$Jean Baptiste DeCouagne, Indian interpreter at Fort Niagara. 
§Navy Island. 



FIRST ATTEMPTED SETTLEMENT. 37 

quainted with, by his late majesty, in your speech of the 
twenty-second of April, 1760, delivered by Brigadier General 
Monckton. You then promised to prevent any person what- 
soever, from settling or even hunting therein ; but that it 
should remain their absolute property. I thought it neces- 
sary to remind your Excellency thereof, as the other day on 
my riding to the place where the vessels were building, I 
found some carpenters at work finishing a large house for 
one Mr. Stirling near the falls and have since heard others 
are shortly to be built thereabouts. As this must greatly add 
to the Indians' discontent, being on the carrying place, and 
within the very limits, which, by their agreement, they are 
not so much as allowed to dispose of, I should be glad to 
know whether I can acquaint them that those people will be 
ordered to remove or not, and I hope from your Excellency's 
answer to be able to satisfy them on that head."* 

Sir Jeffrey Amherst's reply was sent from Albany, 9th 
August, 1761, in which he wrote : "The Indians need be 
under no apprehension of Losing their Lands, it never was 
my Design to take an Inch from them, unless when the ne- 
cessity of the service obliges me to it, and that they have been 
warned of, so that they need not take any umbrage at the 
Settlements on the Carrying place ; where People Horses, 
Carriages etc. are absolutely necessary to keep up the Com- 
munication with the upper posts ; and those that are now 
there for that purpose have no k grant of those Lands, but are 
only upon sufferance till His Majesty's pleasure is known, 
and until that is known they must not be removed."! 

This decision was by no means to Sir William's liking and 
when he revisited Little Niagara upon his return from De- 
troit his chagrin appears in the following entry in his diary : 

"Niagara, Thursday October 6 [1761]. The Major 
[Walters], DeCouagne etc. complain of Stirling monopoliz- 
ing the trade by keeping a great store of goods at Little Ni- 
agara, which will prevent any Indians coming to the fort, or 

♦Unpublished MSS. of Sir Wm. Johnson in N. Y. State Library Vol. V., 
p. in. 

t Unpublished MSS. of Sir Wm. Johnson in N. Y. State Library Vol. V., 
p. 112. 



r 



38 NIAGARA PORTAGE AND ITS 

under the eye of the garrison, so that they [i. e. Stirling and 
others] may cheat the Indians as much as they please in spite 
of all regulations." 

It is evident that Sir William Johnson was greatly an- 
noyed and so was led to speak unjustly of one of the best re- 
spected and most noteworthy characters in the history of the 
early British fur trade. 

When the Marquis de Vaudreuil surrendered Canada on 
the 8th of September, 1760, the British lost no time in taking 
possession of such of his western posts as had not already 
come into their hands. On the 12th of September Major 
Robert Rogers with 200 of his famous Rangers was dis- 
patched from Montreal westward by way of Niagara and 
Presqu' Isle, where he was reinforced by Captain Donald 
Campbell with 100 regulars sent from Fort Pitt, and on the 
29th of November the troops quietly took possession of De- 
troit. 

This opened the way of approach to the northern fur trade 
which had been so long coveted by the British and although 
the season was then too far advanced to send up goods from 
Albany, so that there was a great shortage of provisions and 
other supplies for the Indians during the winter, the spring 
of 1761 saw many traders on their way to the Northwest. 

One of the most enterprising and successful of the eastern 
merchants was John Duncan, a Scotchman who had been a 
lieutenant in the 44th Regiment of Foot, but had retired 
from the service about 1758 and had established a large and 
successful business at Schenectady.* He was quick to take 
advantage of the opening up of western trade and early in 
1761 became associated with Captain Walter Rutherfordt of 
New York and his brother-in-law, the well known Peter Van 

*He was first commissioned as an Ensign in the 44th, June 2, 1755. and as 
Lieutenant, April 25, 1757. 

fWalter Rutherford was a son of Sir John Rutherford of Edgerston in 
Scotland, and served in the British army from the age of seventeen until the 
close of the French War. His commission as a Captain in the 60th Regiment 
of Foot (Royal Americans) was dated 30th December, 1755. He married a 
daughter of James Alexander, whose son was the famous American General, 
William Alexander, better known as Lord Sterling. 



FIRST ATTEMPTED SETTLEMENT. 39 

Brugh Livingston,* in a mercantile enterprise which appar- 
ently contemplated not only establishing a trading post near 
the upper end of the Niagara portage, but also the building 
up of a permanent settlement at that desirable location, 
transporting families with their cattle, etc., to be established 
there. 

To this end they applied to General Amherst for a grant 
of land "on the carrying place" and were given provisionally 
10,000 acres for their purposes. Their representative was 
James Sterling, who had been a commissary of provisions 
under General Haldimand in the French war; and as 
has been seen, with his accustomed energy, he was earlv on 
the ground. His storehouse was near completion by the close 
of July, 1761, and well filled with goods soon thereafter, 
much to the vexation of the neighboring Indians who re- 
sented this encroachment, and of their loyal protector, Sir 
William Johnson, who found himself unable to dislodge this 
well-favored and licensed intruder. 

Albert H. Porter in his interesting "Historical Sketch of 
Niagara from 1678 to 1876," says: "The large house re- 
ferred to was undoubtedly that afterwards occupied by John 
and Philip Steadman. The current tradition is, that the same 
building was first erected at Fort Niagara and used by the 
French as a chapel and was afterwards taken down and re- 
built at the place named. This is rendered quite probable 
from the fact that a chapel was standing in the fort in 1757, 
which disappeared and was never otherwise accounted for, 
and also that on the building occupied by Steadman — pre- 
sumed to be the same — there was a steeple or belfry, an ap- 

*Peter Van Brugh Livingston, born at Livingston Manor near Albany in 
1 710, was a brother of Philip Livingston who signed the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and also of William Livingston, the celebrated Governor of New 
Jersey during the Revolution, whom the British called the "Don Quixote of the 
Jerseys". He lived in New York City on the east side of Hanover Square, his 
garden extending down to the East River. He was engaged in the shipping 
business with William Alexander, afterward known as Lord Sterling, the Ameri- 
can General whose sister Mary he had married in 1739- At the outbreak of the 
Revolution he opposed British aggression, was a member of the N. Y. Committee 
of One Hundred in 1775, and in the same year became President of the first 
New York Provincial Congress. He was Treasurer of New York 1776- 1778, and 
throughout the struggle for independence was an ardent and faithful patriot. 



40 NIAGARA PORTAGE AND ITS 

pendage not likely to be added unless as a part of the original 
building. Furthermore, on a map made by George Dember, 
an engineer in the British service in 1761, the whole course 
of the river is represented, showing the upper and lower 
landings and the portage road correctly traced, and the house 
referred to placed as nearly as possible in its true position 
where the old stone chimney now stands." 

This map, which is given in the Documentary History of 
New York, Vol. II, p. 458, marks the location of "Duncan's 
House/' and if Mr. Porter's surmise is correct the old stone 
chimney of the French barracks built in 1750 and burnt by 
Chabert Joncaire in 1759, was utilized as a part of the smaller 
two-story structure that connected directly with the main 
building. 

It is difficult to understand how James Sterling or his 
principals could have obtained possession of the old chapel 
for their uses from the commandant at Fort Niagara with 
whom they were distinctly in disfavor. Sir William Johnson 
speaks of Sterling's house as being "within quarter of a 
mile" of Little Niagara "where Shabear Jean Coeur lived," 
indicating a somewhat more distant location than that of the 
old chimney of the French barracks, which was but a few 
rods removed from the site of the French fort. 

It soon became evident that Rutherford, Duncan & Co. 
had stirred up a hornets' nest among their keen competitors 
for the Indian trade by their well devised plans for estab- 
lishing a trading post and settlement on the "carrying 
place." 

Albany was the eastern headquarters for supplying the 
Indian trade and there were abundant and fierce heart-burn- 
ing's there when those worthy descendants of Dutch sires, 
with their well-rounded and resonant names, discovered the 
march that had been stolen upon them by their enterprising 
and influential competitors from Schenectady and New York. 
They suddenly became anti-monopolists to a man, and on 
the 28th of January, 1762, an "Humble Petition of the prin- 
ciple Merchants living in the City of Albany," with twenty- 
seven signatures, was sent to the Lords of Trade, reciting 
the terms of the treaty of 1726 with the Five Nations and its 



FIRST ATTEMPTED SETTLEMENT. 41 

concessions, and adding thereto : "Your Lordships Peti- 
tioners further beg- leave to show that His Excellency Sir 
Jeffrey Amherst since the conquest of Niagara being un- 
acquainted (as they presume) with the aforesaid Deed and 
the matters therein contained has lycensed and authorized 
Capt. Rutherford, Lieut. Duncan and others to settle at the 
Niagara carrying place and given them Ten Thousand Acres 
of Land there, all which is included in the said Indian Deed, 
in pursuance of which permission or Grant they have already 
settled thereon and we are well assured that strong applica- 
tion has been made to His Majesty to have the above Lycense 
confirmed by the Royal approbation. Permit your Petition- 
ers further to observe that should a Confirmation be obtained 
the Proprietors of the aforesaid lands would in a little time 
monopolize all the Indian Trade in their own hands and by 
that means amass to themselves great sums of money without 
any Benefit to the Publick and reduce thousands of His 
Majesty's American Subjects to want who might otherwise 
be supported thereby. The granting those lands to a particu- 
lar company would be big with many mischiefs and among 
others irritate the Indians, when they discover that settle- 
ments are made on those lands contrary to a Solemn Agree- 
ment and that Free Trade is suppressed among them and 
how much it is to the interest of this Province to keep the 
Indians at peace with us is obvious to every Impartial Eye."* 
A letter from Rd. Thacksburgh to Sir William Johnson 
dated New York, 12th April, 1762, says: 'The Proclama- 
tion! (of which I understand you have an authentick Copy) 
warning all People off the Lands surreptitiously obtained 

from the Inds, has alarmed many People ; Capt. R d 

[RutherfoidJ says the Government at home will soon alter it 
being agst the interest of the Province. I believe he imagines 
it was made in consequence of the Carrying Place being 
taken possession of at Niagara, but I am apt to think that it 
is not only for that but also the Remonstrance of the Inds 
of ye 2 Castles of the Mohawks." J 

'Documents relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, 
Vol. VII., p. 488. 

tFor this proclamation see Docs. Col. History N. Y., Vol. VII., p. 478. 

X Unpublished MSS. of Sir Wm. Johnson in State Library, Vol. V., p. 245- 



42 NIAGARA PORTAGE AND ITS 

It would appear from tneir correspondence with Lieuten- 
ant Governor Cachvallader Colden that the ''Right Honble 
The Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations" had 
been much disturbed about this time by numerous complaints 
of unauthorized encroachments upon Indian lands. The 
worthy Governor wrote that after the surrender of Canada 
some of the provincial officers had received licenses to pur- 
chase lands on the frontiers, while some had been denied, 
mentioning the interesting fact that Sir William Johnson 
himself had asked letters patent for 40,000 acres of land 
"given him by the Mohawks," a request which the Council 
had refused.* 

The formidable petition- from the Albany merchants, sup- 
ported by the Indian Superintendent's influence, accom- 
plished its purpose. On the 3rd of June, 1762, the Lords of 
Trade laid the petition before the King, reporting "That we 
have not received from any Officer of your Majesty in 
America or any other person whatever any information re- 
specting such grant or settlement as the petitioners allege to 
have been made ; and we the rather incline to hope that the 
Petitioners have proceeded upon misinformation and mis- 
take, as we do not know of any authority being given to Sir 
Jeffrey Amherst to grant lands in those parts. If, however, 
it shall appear upon enquiry that such grant and settlement 
have actually been made, we cannot but agree with the Peti- 
tioners that it will be productive of many mischievous and 
dangerous consequences, and therefore we think it our duty 
humbly to offer our opinion that for the several reasons set 
forth in our humble representation to your Majesty of the 
nth of November last, your royal orders should be immedi- 
ately dispatched, requiring the said settlers forthwith to quit 
and remove from the said Lands. "f 

The Royal order was duly issued and transmitted to Sir 
Jeffrey Amherst at New York, who acknowledged it in a 
letter to W. Sharpe, Clerk of his Majesty's Privy Council, 
dated 20th October, 1762. "His Majesty's Order in Council 
bearing date the 19th June, 1762, with the papers thereunto 



•Docts. Col. History N. Y., Vol. VII., p. 492- 
tDocts. Col. History N. Y., \o\. VII., p. 502. 



FIRST ATTEMPTED SETTLEMENT. 43 

annexed relative to the granting a Settlement to Captain 
Rutherford, Lieut. Duncan and others, on the carrying place 
at Niagara, did not come to my hands 'till within these four 
days. ... In the Month of April, 1761, I received a 
Memorial from Captain Rutherford, Lieut. Duncan and 
others; requesting me to make application that they might 
have a grant of land, on the carrying place at Niagara, and 
setting forth, that great advantage must accrue to the Trade 
in general by settling these lands ; in the meantime, they 
begged to have leave to senu up some families, cattle, etc. 
I was so thoroughly convinced of the utility of such a pro- 
posal that I readily granted them a Permit, until the King's 
pleasure was known, but without the least clause that could 
entitle them to an exclusive right of trade: as the Trade to 
the Detroit and throughout every part of His Majesty's 
Dominions on this Continent has been entirely free, ever 
since the reduction of Canada. I was so far from thinking 
that I had a right to grant these lands, that I immediately 
reported what I had done to His Majesty's Secretary of 
State; an Extract of my letter on that Subject is enclosed 
(No. 1) and Copies of the Memorial and permit therein re- 
ferred to (No. 2 and 3), but as I received no Answer, the 
Memorialists have only made a small temporary settlement, 
as I constantly assured them, that I could give no further 
title, until the King's pleasure was signified concerning 
their Rights: I have now in obedience to His Majesty's 
commands, sent orders to the Commandant at Niagara to 
put a stop to any settlements on the carrying place, and I 
enclose a copy of these Orders (No. 4) which I humbly 
trust will meet with His Majesty's Approbation. If I may 
take the liberty, I can't but say, I am still of the same 
opinion, respecting the utility and advantage, that will arise 
to the Country by settling the lands in Question, and I beg 
leave, w r ith the utmost deference and submission to the most 
Honble Board to represent that, nothing can be more con- 
ducive to the security of the distant posts, the advantage of 
the traders in general (while every one that adheres to the 
rules prescribed are free to trade with the Indians) and of 
those whose affairs require them to pass and repass, than 



44 NIAGARA PORTAGE AND ITS 

the peopling of the Tracts of Land, situated near our Forts 
and particularly such a spot as that of the carrying- place at 
Niagara."* 

Thus ended the first attempt under British rule to plant a 
settlement on the Niagara portage. James Sterling went 
up to Detroit where the trading firm of which he was a 
member was known as Livingston, Rutherford & Syme, and 
became one of the leading merchants of the Northwest, re- 
spected and trusted by the British and, through his familiar- 
ity with their language, a favorite with the French habitants. 
He took an active part in the defense of Detroit during the 
famous siege by Pontiac and when it happily ended married 
pretty Angelique Cuillierie, whose charms had captivated 
Sir William at his visit in 1761. Her father had been a 
prominent French trader and also an ally of Pontiac, and a 
flavor of romance attaches to Sterling and his courtship, for 
recent investigations give color to the belief that it was 
through information which she obtained of Pontiac's inten- 
tions and which, through her anxiety for her lover's safety, 
the pretty Angelique secretly communicated to Sterling, that 
the little garrison was forewarned of Pontiac's treachery and 
so saved from destruction. f 

He had been compelled to leave some of the company's 
goods at Niagara and after Pontiac's siege was raised he 
returned for these : the interests of Livingston and Ruther- 
ford were purchased by the other partners and the firm at 
Detroit became Duncan & Sterling. 

In 1763 John Stedman occupied the house described by 
Albert H. Porter on the site of the old French barracks at 
Little Niagara, cleared the adjacent land and planted an 
orchard, becoming master of the portage from Lewiston, 
and holding, it was claimed, the exclusive right of trans- 
portation under some form of lease from the British Govern- 
ment, which gave him right of occupancy in all the improved 
land about Fort Schlosser and in adjoining unimproved 
lands for the support of his cattle and horses. J 

*Docts. Col. Hist. N. Y.. Vol. VII., p. 508. 

tSee letter Maj. Henry Bassett to Gen. Haldiniand, Can. Archives, B. 70, 
p. 214. 

tHist. Sketch of Niagara, 1678-1876, by Albert PI. Porter, p. 27. 



r 



FIRST ATTEMPTED SETTLEMENT. 45 

The original and larger scheme for a settlement on the 
carrying place had failed. By 1764 Sir Wm. Johnson's In- 
dians had become more docile. The massacre at the Devil's 
Hole in September, 1763, when Stedman barely escaped with 
his life, was their last fierce protest against the white man's 
encroachments ; Stedman remained thereafter unmolested, 
the traders found him useful and as he was not their com- 
petitor no more petitions were sent to the Lords of Trade, 
but it was a long day before the Niagara portage was finally 
opened up for settlement. 



III. A BRITISH PRIVATEER 



IN THE 



AMERICAN REVOLUTION.* 



"I'm informed that you have had such Success with your 
Privateer that the Men of War are got jealous of her taking 
too many Prizes and have endeavored to sink her, c'est bien 
malhonete!" And so beyond question, thought that honest 
Scotch merchant and ardent loyalist, John Porteous,t of 

*This paper, originally contributed to the American Historical Review, 
January, 1902, is here reprinted by courtesy of the Macmillan Company, pub- 
lishers, and Prof. A. C. McLaughlin, managing editor of that periodical. Its 
inclusion here with other of Mr. Howland's papers is specially desirable, as it is 
an episode in the career of John Porteous, who figures in certain affairs of the 
Niagara Frontier, as Mr. Howland relates. 

fjohn Porteous came from Perth, Scotland, to America about the year 1761, 
and was one of the early British traders at Detroit and Michillimackinac. He 
was a resident of Detroit during its siege by Pontiac and for ten years there- 
after. During this time he was engaged in the Indian trade as a partner with 
James Sterling in the firm of Duncan, Sterling & Porteous, and later formed 
a partnership with the firm of Phyn & Ellice, of Schenectady, N. Y. Before 
the opening of the Revolutionary War he went to Montreal, and after the 
British occupied New York City, he followed them there and carried on a 
general merchandizing business until the evacuation in 1783, when he returned 
to Scotland. Soon thereafter he settled in Nova Scotia, but in 1788 or 1789 
went to Little Falls, N. Y., where he represented the interests of Alexander 
F.llice, who had succeeded to the lands covered by the Vaughn patent. He was 
naturalized in 1790, and lived at Little Falls until his death in March, 1790- 

In January, 1901, the attention of the writer was called to an old hair-cov- 
ered chest that had been for some years in the possession of Mr. Andrew 
Langdon of Buffalo, which was found to contain papers relating for the most 
part to business transactions in the Mohawk Valley during the early years of 
the nineteenth century. With these were found several bundles of older 
records concerning John Porteous, among which were the letters and documents 
which form the basis of the present article. 



fi° 



48 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

New York, in September, 1779, when he read the Montreal 
letter, written by his old-time friend, James Sterling, from 
which the sentence is quoted. Their friendship was of long 
standing, dating back to the fur-trading days that followed 
the close of the French War, when they had been partners at 
Detroit in the Indian trade and in many adventures on those 
distant trails that brought wealth from the great northern 
wilderness. Soon after the British army had occupied Xew 
York in 1776, John Porteous had followed it thither and had 
established himself in general merchandizing, occupying the 
store belonging to Henry Remsen, at No. 513 Hanover 
Square, "next door to the Admiral's." He enjoyed a good 
credit with his London connections ; his brother, James 
Porteous, was an Assistant Commissary General in the Brit- 
ish service, and the shrewd and thrifty Scotchman seems to 
have prospered in his undertakings. He preserved most of 
his papers with methodical care, and after his death, by 
some fortunate accident they escaped destruction, until, cov- 
ered with a century's dust, they were recently brought to 
light from the old chest where they had so long lain hidden. 
There are many curious stories which these time-stained 
records tell, and among them is the story of the British 
Privateer Vengeance, as told by those who shared her varied 
fortunes. 

When Cornwalhs entered Philadelphia in September, 
1777, the opportunity seemed favorable for the British 
traders, and shortly thereafter John Porteous sent a stock of 
goods to that city entrusted to his friend and associate, John 
Richardson, who took a shop in Market Street, where he had 
important dealings with Sir William Howe and many be- 
side. The firm of John Porteous & Co. apparently owned 
at this time a snow called the Elegante, of which Captain 
George Dean was the master, in which their shipments back 
and forth were made. Possibly our worthy Scotchman's close 
proximity to the "Admiral" may have turned his thoughts to 
other naval ventures than these peaceful sailings of the seas ; 
perhaps he was like Dogberry, "a fellow that hath had 
losses," for once again from London, James Sterling wrote : 
"Pray how do you succeed in Privateering? I hope you've 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 49 

caught some of the Myneers* who will help to reimburse 
your former Losses." Perhaps privateering may have 
seemed as profitable at that time as it was popular, for in 
the year 1778 it was evidently determined to convert the 
peaceful Elegante into a more war-like craft, rechristened 
the Vengeance, which, on the 17th of November, for a 
consideration of £37 6s. 8d. was duly commissioned as a pri- 
vateer under the seal of the court of vice-admiralty for the 
province of New York, "to attack, Surprize, Seize and take 
all Ships and Vessels, Goods, Wares and Merchandizes, 
Chattels and Effects whatsoever belonging to the Inhabitants 
of the American Colonies in Rebellion." 

A "snow" was a three-masted vessel, having abaft the 
main mast, a third mast which carried a trysail. The Ven- 
geance was a vessel of this class and was no beauty despite 
her original name ; for one witness said she looked "like a 
Hog Trough," and another is equally disrespectful concern- 
ing her appearance, but, as the record shows, her good qual- 
ities far out-balanced this lack of grace. She was well 
armed, carrying six six-pound guns and eight four-pound- 
ers, with an abundance of small arms and ammunition, and, 
as appears from the details of her equipment, was amply 
supplied with provisions and with rum. The surgeon's in- 
struments cost £18 16s. and her stock of medicines 
£j6 4s. 6d. There had been added by purchase a new long 
boat which had cost £37 6s. 8d. ; a pinnace costing £25, and 
at the hour of sailing, a very fine small boat which Captain 
Dean sad he "could not possibly do without" for which John 
Porteous paid a round twenty guineas. Altogether, the ves- 
sel and her outfit when ready for sea represented an outlay 
to her owners of £4851 10s. 8d., York currency, equivalent 
at the time to about £3300 sterling. Of officers and crew 
there were sixty-nine on board when she sailed, with George 
Dean, Captain: George Knowles, 1st Lieut.; Charles 
Knowles, 2nd Lieut.: Thomas Middleton, master; John 
Fitzgerald, surgeon ; John Fraser. gunner ; and Patrick 
Henvey, boatswain, and including also John Richardson, 

•Mynheers, evidently referring to Dutch merchantmen. The letter is dated 
1781. 



50 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

who, like Captain Dean, was a shareholder and who went 
ostensibly to guard the owners' interests, but evidently 
moved by a fine spirit of adventure and bearing rank as cap- 
tain of marines. To his facile pen and to that of the pug- 
nacious captain, we are indebted for the most graphic ac- 
count that has been preserved of the experiences of a British 
privateer during the war of the American Revolution. 

By the 9th of January, 1779, all was ready, so that the 
Vengeance dropped down the bay, and at three o'clock in 
the afternoon of the following day John Richardson found 
an opportunity of sending a farewell message from Sandy 
Hook. — ''Yesterday afternoon it blowing fresh and the wind 
contrary we came to an Anchor off the Watering Place at 
Staten Island; and about 12 O'Clock today got under 
weigh ; — we shall be abreast of the Man of War very soon 
and Capt : Dean is determined to proceed immediately to 
Sea on passing inspection.'' He concludes by "ardently 
hoping for a successful Cruize," and is not again heard from 
until the 15th of February when the Vengeance is in the 
latitude of Port Royal. At least one letter had been dis- 
patched in the interim by the first prize captured, but as 
there is no trace of its receipt, and as the Little Ben never 
found a place on the credit side of the Vengeance's account, 
it is probable that the prize was re-captured before reaching 
New York. Captain Dean now writes : 

Vengeance Lat: 32°.i5' N. 15th Feby. 1779 
Dear Sir: My last was dated the 5th Current pr the 
Prize Schooner Little Ben from Cape Fear bound to Boston 
John Anderson Prize Master, who I hope before this reaches 
you will have arrived safe. She was loaded with Tar Tur- 
pentine and Rice, is quite full and about 80 Tons burthen. 
On the 14th January 3 Sail of Vessels were Captured by the 
Privateers Experiment, Capt. McPherson, and Genl. 
Mathew, Capt. Forsyth, in sight of us and within hearing 
of the Guns ; which you'll please lay in a claim for a Pro- 
portion of according to Men and Guns. One was a dis- 
masted ship from Cape Francois bound to Charlestown. 
loaded with Rum etc., another a Brig, and the third a 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 51 

Schooner which we chaced in to them. All were taken off 
the Capes of Virginia, and it was my intention to put some 
People on board them which being signified to Capt : 
Forsyth he even assented to coming too or laying by till 
morning when we would see each other again, but it grow- 
ing hazy in the night, they gave us the Slip, next day we 
saw them again and fired several shot at the Sloop Genl. 
Mathew to bring her too, but without effect, however I am 
in hopes this ungenerous method of procedure will avail 
them little. On the 8th Curt. Captured the Ship Geo : Wash- 
ington mounting 10 double fortified 4 pounders from Boston 
in Balast bound to Charlestown which I have ordered for 
Savannah in Georgia (it being in our possession) consigned 
to Mr. John Tunno, who is connected with Mr. Penman at 
St. Augustine, as Agent ; She is 440 Tons burthen Frigate 
built and a beautiful Vessel. I remain with respect, 
Your sincere friend and hble Servt. 

George Dean 

Accompanying this was a letter from John Richardson. 

Vengeance Lat: 32 15' N. 15th Feby. 1779. 
Dear Sir: I wrote vou the 5th Current a few Lines. 
This will be delivered you by a Mr. J. [I?] Mitchell of Bos- 
ton, who was a Passenger on board the Geo. Washington ; 
is a Portrait Painter and was intending by some means or 
other to get to England. Being a facetious young Fellow, 
and in all appearance a friend to Govt. Capt. Dean and all 
the officers on board the Vengeance have shown him every 
indulgence and civility, and make no doubt you will do the 
like. We at first took the Washington for a 40 Gun Ship 
she loomed so large, but upon getting a little nearer, saw 
she was a large Merchantman, which we were in hopes was 
French. She showed 14 Guns, besides 2 on her Quarter 
Deck. We were determd. to have a look at her, and ac- 
cordingly stood towds. her under French Colours; she at 
same time bearing down on us under Rebel Colours ; She 
by Accident made part of our Signal, which inducing us to 
believe she was the Union of Liverpool, we hoisted English ; 
this caused her immediately to haul her Wind from us ; and 



52 A BRITISH PRI I A TEER 

convinced us she was an enemy ; it falling calm, we happily 
thought of trying what effect our Boats Oars would have in 
rowing the Snow. Our people being in high spirits pulled 
like heroes ; We gained on her considerably, and she kept 
pelting us with Stern Chacer which happily did little dam- 
age altho' almost every shot took place in our Sails. We 
fired only three Shot at her, and rowed up under her stern, 
fired our Stink Pot and prepared for boarding; but before 
we came within hail she struck. Upon getg. nearer hailed 
her, and finding her from Boston gave three Cheers, which 
to our no small surprize was returned by a number on board 
the Ship. We found she was manned mostly with Scotch- 
men, whom the Captain had got out of Prison Ships. They 
rejoiced in their releasement ; and with some others to the 
Number of 21 entered with us. On the afternoon of the 9th 
Curt, saw 2 Sail which gave chace to. Soon percd. one to 
be a large Ship standg. for us. Apprehending her to be the 
Deane Frigate who came out of Boston with our Prize, kept 
close by the wind ; but about 7 in the evening it being then 
dark found she was close under our Lee crossing us with 
her Larboard Tacks on board — we having our Starboard. 
She gave us a Gun : W T e returned her a 6 pounder shotted, 
yet I believe hit her — which was no sooner done than she 
gave us, and our Prize who was close under our Stern a 
Broadside and a Volley from her Tops and Quarter Deck, 
Luckily they did very little damage except to our Sails ; but 
findg. them 9 pounders, were now convinced she was the 
Rebel frigate mentioned above ; so Capt. Dean and Officers, 
judged it most prudent to stand on. She immediately 
Tacked in our wake and stood after us. About 10 at night it 
falling light winds perceived she gained upon us ; so finding 
it in vain to get clear, hauled up our Courses and prepared 
for Action along with our Prize ; who was at this time com- 
manded by Geo : Knowles, who I forgot to mention returned 
the Frigates broadside. She came up within Hail with all 
Sails standing, when we found it was his Majesty's Ship 
Unicorn, who behaved in a very civil manner. We were 
then off Cape Roman. Messrs. Knowles join in best re- 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 53 

spects to you and Brother and I remain with unfeigned re- 
gard 

Your sincere friend and humble Servant 

John Richardson. 

P. S. We spoke Capt. McAlpin in a Schooner from New 
York who informed us you was well. Mr. Andrews is gone 
Prize Master of the Ship who sails almost as well as we. 
Convoyed her almost to Georgia. 

By an endorsement in his autograph, it appears that these 
letters were opened at New York by Commodore (afterward 
Admiral) Sir Hyde Parker, before being delivered to John 
Porteous to whom they were addressed. In December, 
1778, Hyde Parker had commanded the small squadron 
which conveyed the British troops under Lt. Col. Archibald 
Campbell to the capture of Savannah, a service for which 
Parker was knighted in 1779. This important southern port 
now being in possession of the British, and the province de- 
clared to be "in the King's peace," Captain Dean thought it 
best to touch at Savannah for supplies and to see what had 
become of his fine prize ship, so about the 5th of March the 
Vengeance dropped anchor in the Savannah river and ten 
days later letters to New York told of the condition of her 
affairs which were not wholly to the Captain's liking. 

Savannah River in Georgia) rm .. , t , T 

^ t» u c 15th March 1779. 

On Board the Vengeance J 

Dear Sir : Finding our Stock of Wood and Water to 
be getting rather short I determined to put into this place to 
get a recruit of these articles : It was likewise some induce- 
ment to me to learn the fate of the Ship Geo. Washington 
(which we took on the 8th Feby. bound from Boston to 
Charlestown in Balast) who by a Vessel we spoke with at 
Sea we were informed that she was claimed as British Prop- 
erty. Mr. Tunno who I appointed Agent, and I dare say 
you remember to have seen at New York, as he lodged at 
Mr. Stoughton's dispatched her Papers to St. Augustine 
without delay, no Court of Admiralty being established here 
till within these few davs : No answer is vet arrived but I 



64 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

am in hopes the claim will not be sustained, as the Claimant 
is a man of no character, and I have reason to believe was 
in a great measure induced to it by the Prize Master, Charles 
Andrews, who has proved a most cunning artful villain, and 
has done I find everything in his power to stir up sedition 
among the Ships Company — who were however proof 
against it and are a set of as fine peaceable fellows as ever 
manned a Ship. If I can find any Point Blank proof against 
him of making away with anything out of the Ship I will 
trounce him soundly for it — at any rate he and I shall never 
float at sea again in the same bottom. I shall order Mr. 
Tunno to remit you whatever may be the Nett Proceeds of 
the Ship, after deducting disbursements here, without delay, 
when she is sold. I had once determined on going as far 
as £3000 Sterling for her on our own account, as she sails 
very fast and would carry 24 Guns, six pounders with ease, 
but upon more mature deliberation have given up thoughts 
of that as the Expence of sending her round, and fitting 
would be so immense, that I am determined to stick by the 
Old Vengeance, who without jesting I would not exchange, 
for our business, with any Privateer belonging to New 
York: I find her to be possessed of every qualification 
necessary for a Privateer — Sails fast, carries her Guns well, 
makes no more water in a Gale of Wind than in a Calm ; 
and in appearance at best but a Bundle of Boards. I am 
anxious to hear of the arrival at your Place of the Schooner 
Little Ben from Cape Fear bound to Boston, which we took 
on the 4th February, and of the Snow Invermay from Cape 
Frangois, bound to Charlestown, Captured the 19th do. ; the 
first loaded with Tar, Turpentine and Rice, the latter with 
Rum, Sugar, Coffee and Dry Goods. There were a few 
trifling articles taken out of the Snow besides what I men- 
tioned, which in the hurry we were in I forgot, viz the 
Jesuits Bark — pieces. Linen, I made a present of to the 
Master. No bread being to be had here, I have purchased 
as a substitute 15 Tierces Rice at 7/6 Stg. pr. C, and some 
sweet Potatoes. I shall buy only about 10 Barrels bait Pro- 
vision, which can be had for about 6 Guineas pr Bbl : but 
as it is far cheaper and better for the people as many Hogs 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 55 

(which can be got about 3d stg. pr lb.) as I can conveniently 
carry on Deck out of the way of the Guns. I am afraid I 
shall be obliged to get a puncheon of Rum altho' dear ; there 
is no doing without it in our way. We were once entirely 
out for eight days, but to do our People justice I never heard 
the least murmur on that account as they knew it could not 
be had. 

One circumstance happened to us in the Beginning of the 
Cruize, which I cannot omit mentioning every opportunity 
altho' I can hardly do it with patience. If ever any one 
serves me such a Trick again, I will forgive him and never 
mention a word about it. On the 14th January a dismasted 
Ship from Cape Francois, bound to Charlestown, loaded 
with Taffia, etc., a Brig with her Main Topmast gone, and 
a Schooner, were captured off the Capes of Virginia by the 
Experiment Capt. McPherson and Genl. Mathew, Capt. 
Forsyth, both of Xew York, in sight of us and within hear- 
ing of their Guns. I spoke them and intended putting Prize 
Masters on board in the morning, which I even signified to 
Capt. Forsyth who appeared to have no objection, and 
agreed to lay by till morning — however it getting hazy in 
the night they gave us the Slip. Next day I saw them again 
and fired several shots to bring them to ; upon which they 
put away before the wind. I hauled our wind for the 
Prizes, and put about when I thought we had got so far as 
tc be able to fetch them on the other Tack, however we saw 
nothing more of them. I am hopeful some of my Letters 
may have reached you to enable you to lay in a claim for a 
share of said Prizes according to Men and Guns. I have cut 
out 2 more Ports, and got two four Pounders out of the 
Ship, and we now mount 6 six pounders and 10 four pound- 
ers. When we go out we shall have 70 Men, all fine fellows ; 
almost 50 of whom are Seamen, and we shall not carry a 
man out here but what belonged to us when we came in ; so 
that you see we have been very lucky in the Vessels we have 
taken to get so many seamen. I remain with great regard 

Dear John 

Yours sincerely 

George Dean. 



56 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

There were uncertainties even in British privateering. 
The Vengeance might capture cargoes of rum and peaceful 
tar-laden merchantmen, but there were many things to be 
reckoned with before they could be taken into port, con- 
demned and sold and their proceeds comfortably divided. 
There were well-armed Yankee ships with names fully as 
fierce as her own, whose captains would have delighted in a 
brush wicn the Vengeance herself, and who, failing this, 
found a peculiar pleasure in recapturing her prizes, which 
doubtless furnishes the providential reason why the Inver- 
may as well as the Little Ben never figured further in the 
privateer's accounts. Then, too, there were such rascally 
schemes as that of the George Washington's prize master 
which stirred up Captain Dean's righteous indignation, as 
well it might, for although full details of procedures are not 
found, all that was ever credited to the account of the Ven- 
geance in realization of her hopes from her splendid 440 
ton prize for which Captain Dean would have paid £3000 
sterling, was a beggarly item of "£374 10s. 6d." "for share 
of the George Washington salvage." However, all were 
now greatly elated with their early successes and their first 
lieutenant, George Knowles, who had been a merchant cap- 
tain, wrote to John Porteous in exuberant phonetics. 

"You will No Dout hear mor larg from Capt. Dean of 
our Sucess and the Plisur the Snow gives ous in hir saling 
and Every thing that wie cann wish wie have goot a Com- 
plet Sette of gunes as aney Ship out of New York sixtin 
sixes and four Pounders and I hoap tor to have thre or four 
prises in to you in the Spece of thre or four weakes after our 
puting from thence. Wie have a Compleat Shipes Com- 
paney as Ever I sailed with 70 in number." 

At the same time John Richardson also wrote to Mr. 
Porteous : 

Savannah River in Georgia?. h March 
Ox Board the Yexgeaxce ) 

Dear Sir: We have been here now about 10 days, get- 
ting a fresh supply of Wood and Water, and some pro- 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 57 

visions, which are tolerably reasonable. I am hopeful the 
next prize we send you may be a good St. Domingo Man : 
Let us only see a Vessel and we are not afraid but we will 
soon come up with her, provided night does not prevent us. 
We sail exceedingly fast (having beat everything we have 
yet seen but the Unicorn) and are the greatest deception 
imaginable, looking at a distance like a Hog Trough ; this 
no doubt will be a great advantage to us. The Master of 
the Snow we took told us, that even after he was in the 
Boat coming on board us, he secretly repented not having 
run longer; as he could hardly satisfy himself that we 
could sail tolerably, notwithstanding we had come up with 
him so fast that he did not know how to behave. M. Wat- 
son from New York informed us that it was currently re- 
ported there, our being cast away. I feel exceedingly for 
the distress and anxiety of mind you must have laboured 
under till the doubts respecting our safety were removed. 
There were people in New York, viz McPherson and For- 
syth, who could have satisfied you on this head, but know- 
ing themselves guilty of wronging us in a very ungenerous 
manner, I suppose they determined to keep their own coun- 
sel, for fear enquirys might be made, that would put it out 
of their power to conceal any longer, our being in company, 
when the prizes were taken ; and of consequence fully en- 
titled to a share. I have sent you all the news Papers since 
the arrival of our Troops here, so that it is unnecessary to 
mention any news. The Phoenix Man of W r ar sailed for 
England the 12th Curt. Col: Campbell went Passenger in 
her, and I suppose there never was a Commander whose 
departure was more regretted, he being universally beloved 
by all orders of People. Capt. Dean and I being in Town 
when the Molly Capt. Thompson sailed for New York pre- 
vented our writing by her, as likewise to London by the 
Phoenix, not expectg. they would sail so soon. 

This is the best Bar Harbour in America, having over it 
at Low Water at least 3 fathoms. The Bar lies near 3 miles 
without the Light House or rather Beacon, which is built 
of Brick and Whitewashed : It consists of seven Stories, 
and stands upon the North Eastermost Point of Tybee, a 



58 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

low swampy Island, uninhabited, and aboundg. with fine 
Pine ana Live Oak Trees ; Here we get whatever Spars we 
want (upon asking' liberty) for the trouble of cutting them. 
About 3 miles up from the Light House is Cockspur Island 
which divides the River into 2 channels, the northernmost 
of which is the Ship Channel but between the Southside of 
the Island and Tybee is the best Anchorage. From Cock- 
spur to within 5 miles of Savannah Town runs a range of 
swampy desert Islands, dividing the Channels as I mentd. 
before. The Banks of the River on both sides untill you 
come near to the Town (which is about 20 miles from Tybee 
Beacon) is a swamp. Here you can see multitudes of alli- 
gators lying in the mud like old Logs, and the Rivers in 
general here so abound with these destructive animals that 
it is very dangerous to go in to the Water. The Town 
stands upon a steep sandy Bank, which will put a man out 
of breath before he can reach the Top of it. It consists of 
about 300 houses, built for the most part of Wood. It is 
very regularly laid out, the Streets crossing each other at 
right angles, but like most other Towns in this Country very 
straggling built. The Streets are not paved ; the Sand in 
them is near a foot deep, and in the summer, what between 
Sand Flies (of which even now there are Legions) Mus- 
quettoes etc must certainly be a most agreeable place to re- 
side in. When it blows, a man runs no small risk of being 
chocked by the clouds of sand and dust. I am told that 
about 50 miles back, the Country exhibits a very different 
appearance, being very fruitful in Indigo, Rice, Indian Corn 
etc., and abounds with stock of all kinds ; The sallow com- 
plexion of the Natives here, to me sufficiently proves the 
unhealthiness of the Climate. Mr. Michie desires his Com- 
pliments to you, he is in company with Mr. Brown, and 
they seem to have a great run. There is a pretty good de- 
mand for Goods here. Mr. McCulloch is appointed Col- 
lector of the Customs. Col : Innes is gone home. Mr. 
Penman* from St. Augustine is here. Of Privateers there 

•James Penman, a British loyalist, who was encaged in business at St. 
Augustine, Fla., until the capture of Savannah. Ga., in iJ79, where he accom- 
panied the British General. Augustine Prevost, from Florida. After the capture 
of Savannah in 1779 and in the effort to re-establish the royal government there 
he was appointed a member of the council and a commissioner of claims under 
the Crown. 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 59 

are at present here, the Mars Capt. Cunning-ham, Union 
Capt. Sibrell, and Surprize Capt. Watson, all of New York. 
Capt. Henry of the Fowey is now Commodore. I beg to be 
remembered to your Brother, Mr. Cruden ; Mr. and Mrs. 
Groome. I remain with the greatest regard 
Dr. Sir 

Yours very sincerely 

John Richardson. 

During the month that followed these despatches, the 
Vengeance found business very dull. The rich St. Domingo 
merchantman wisely kept out of her way; she caught a 
glimpse of the Jamaica fleet sailing down the Georgia coast 
and somewhere thereabouts captured a "light brig," only 
to lose it again. Letters were sent by a St. Augustine sloop, 
but it would seem that they never reached New York and 
the next despatches received by the owners were written 
May 7th, somewhere off Albemarle Sound. 

On Board the Vengeance Lat 36 North 
Dr. Sir : On the 2d. Curt, we in Company with the 
Privateer Sloop Who would have thought it, Capt. Lance- 
field belonging to Mr. Courtney, took the Schooner Fannie, 
John Sawyer Master from St. Croix bound to Edenton, 
mounting 4 Carriage Guns and 3 Swivels, loaded with 78 
Puncheons Rum and 1 Hhd. Sugar. There is likewise on 
board some small Casks Rum and Pieces of Dry Goods as 
annexed. I intended keeping her with me for some Days 
to Cruize as she would have answered every purpose of a 
Tender and for that Purpose put 6 of our best people on 
Board including the 1st. Lieut, and the Sloop put the same 
number of his : but not obeying my signal for Tacking the 
ensuing night (whether from intention or neglect I know 
not) we lost Company of her, and heard nothing of her 
since. This has distressed me exceedingly to loose so many 
good men in so small a vessel and as I was in Chase all the 
afternoon had not time to make out Mr. Knowles's Orders, 
or send a Copy of our Commission, but Verbally desired him 
to keep by us. However I am hopeful she may arrive safe 
at New York as I have no doubt they will push directly for 



60 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

thence. On the 4th Curt. I sent about 30 Volunteers on 
board the said Sloop and in our Pinnace, who went into 
Ocracock Harbour, boarded and took the French Polacco 
Ship Le Hardy Claude Berard Mr of 12 Carriage Guns, 4 
Swivels ana 26 Men, after a very obstinate resistance. YYe 
did not loose a Man, having only one a good deal Burnt by 
a Powder Flash, and the Sloop one of her people badly 
wounded in the head. The French Captn. and 3 of his 
People are dangerously wounded. She has on board 250 
Hhds of Tobacco which I am hopeful will sell well being 
of the first Quality. The Ship is excellently found and 
sails very fast. There is a fine parcel of Bread aboard which 
should be glad you would purchase for our next Cruize. 
We shall come in for a great part of both Vessels as we had 
63 Men on Board and 17 Carriage Guns, and the Sloop 6 
Guns and about 26 men. Had the Schooner remained with 
me I should have been able to have cut out likewise a large 
Lumber loaded Ship which lay about 3 miles further up, 
who got under Sail and went still farther as soon as they 
saw our Intention against the Polacco. Our Water and 
Provisions begin to grow low, so that I shall not be able to 
cruize much longer. I am sorry to hear the light Brig we 
took and sent for Georgia, was retaken by the Brig Notre 
Dame of 16 Guns belonging to Charlestowm, off Savannah 
Bar. I was so sure of her arriving safe that I would have 
insured her for sixpence. Should I catch any more of the 
Boston Victuallers (as we call them) I shall not hesitate 
about burning them, as I cannot find they ever carry any- 
thing but a few notions. There is nothing I regret so much 
as not leaving orders with you to Commission for a good 
night Glass ; it would have been of infinite service to me, 
however it may not yet be too late, therefore beg you will 
do it. Should the Schooner arrive, I request you will defer 
selling her till we arrive as I have a great opinion of her, 
and if the cruize can afford it, would like to purchase her for 
a Tender, finding that a small one would be of vast service. 
I am with respect, Dr. Sir 

Your very humble Servant 

George Dean. 
Mr. Tohn Porteous. 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 61 

P. S. Mr. Middleton the blaster is sent as Prize Master 
of the Polacco who was altered from a Snow into a Ship 
lately at Edenton. 

In the cabin of the Schooner 

2 Ps. Coating 

2 Ps. Broad Cloth with Shalloon and other Trimmings 

In the hold about 4001b Coffee 

On Board the Vengeance Lat 36 ° N 
7th May 1779 
Dr. Sir: I wrote you the 22d ulmo pr the Hunter 
Sloop Capt. Browne from St. Augustine and mentioned 
having seen the Jamaica fleet on the 16th April in and about 
Lat: 31-30 and Lon : 70 West. On the 26th April in the 
morning off Cape Look Out we gave Chace to a Sail which 
we soon discovered to be a brig standing towards us, but 
before we could see her hull she Tacked and stood from us 
with all Sail ; we continued the Chace and falling almost 
calm we got out our Sweeps, and about 1 P M our Pinnace 
armed and manned as usual was dispatched after her; We 
came up very fast, but most unluckily about 2 a very heavy 
squall with Rain from the N W came on, in which the Snow 
loosing sight both of us and the Brig was obliged to heave 
too for fear of loosing us. We returned to the Snow, and 
the Boat was immediately hoisted in. About 5 in the even- 
ing We again discovered the Brig who had wore (when out 
of our sight) towards the Shore, and went close under the 
Shoals, by which means she had got about 2 Leagues to 
Windward. We continued the Pursuit and about night it 
falling calm ; our Pinnace was hoisted out again and sent 
after her; We rowed directly towards her for 2 l / 2 hours 
when seeing no appearance of a sail, Mr. Knowles and I 
judged it prudent to return. Got on board the Vessel about 
1 next morning ; it still continuing almost calm set out again 
and at Sun Rise discovered her at an Anchor under the Fort 
at Cape Lookout we returned the third time when a light 
breese springing up the Snow wrought in Shore towards an 
Inlet (about 12 miles from the Cape) where we saw a num- 
ber of Vessels lavinsr. We hoisted French colours and made 



63 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

a signal for a Pilot. A Boat came out and reconnoitred us 
but no scheme could bring her along side. Captain Dean 
now was determined to have a Dust with the Brig, which 
we saw was a Rebel Privr. from 12 to 16 Guns, and accord- 
ingly stood within Gun Shot of the Fort who fired a Shot at 
us, which we returned, but most unluckily the Wind shifting 
to the Southward ; we were obliged to turn out being in such 
a Bight, that we could not weather the Land on one Hand 
nor the Shoals on another. Although blowing fresh in the 
night ; by next morning got so far to Windward as to be 
out of danger. We then fell in with our present consort ; 
and determined on attempting to have the Brig at all events 
as she had cost us so much trouble. But on the 29th a heavy 
Gale driving us into the Gulf Stream, we never could fetch 
to Windward of the Shoals again ; therefore Capt. Dean 
bent his Attention towards Ocracock — where on the 4th 
Curt, we cut out the Polacco Ship Le Hardy : Mr. Middle- 
ton the Master, and I with 16 hands went Volunteers in the 
Sloop : and Chas. Knowles, Gunner, and Boatswain with 9 
more of our People in the Boat. The Ship having a sus- 
picion of us had got chace Ports cut out the night before 
and every preparation made. We went up under her stern 
when he began a heavy fire on us with his Stern Chacer ; 
and by backing his Mizen Topsail endeavored to bring his 
broadside to bear on us, but being unable to effect this he 
renewed the fire with his chacer ; Havg. by this time got 
pretty near, we soon drove them from those Guns by our 
Musketry and a 3 Pdr. which raked him. Passing under 
his Starboard Quarter we laid him aboard directly and the 
Boat on the other: at which instant he discharged his 
Broadside a volley of small arms and some Powder Flasks 
at the Sloop. Most miraculously and providentially they 
did us no damage to speak of and before they could load 
again so many from both Sloop and Boat got on board, that 
little opposition was then made but by the French Capt.. 
who behaved in a most resolute manner. Notwithstanding 
the extreme difficulty of the Bar (being only about 13 feet 
Water on it) we got her safe out about dark. The Channel 
lies so close to the Beach that the Pilots lving behind the 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 63 

Sand Banks peppered away at us with small arms, but did 
no hurt. You must look upon it as very unaccountable and 
indeed what I could hardly have believed had I not been an 
eye Witness that only one Man should be wounded and an- 
other a good deal burnt with a Powder Flask on our side. 
The French Capt. and 3 of his People are badly wounded, 
and several more slightly. If our Prize Schooner had been 
with us, to have gone in with the Sloop we should have ef- 
fected something more capital. We cannot cruize above a 
fortnight longer as our Provs. and Water get low, and our 
Bottom is remarkably foul. Present my Copts, to your 
Brother — as likewise Dond. McLean, A. Stephen — and ac- 
quaintances at your Mess Expecting to enjoy the pleasure 
of seeing you soon, I am 

Dr. Sir 

Yours very sincerely 

John Richardson. 

Enclosed with these letters is a list of the French prison- 
ers captured, and also lists of the officers and men belonging 
to the Vengeance that were on board the pinnace and the 
sloop during the action. 

This was a fine stroke of luck for the British privateer, 
inasmuch as both the polacca Le Hardy and the schooner 
Fannie escaped re-capture, and, having been condemned and 
sold at New York, the Vengeance was credited with 
£4,603 3s. iod. as her share of the proceeds. But, alas for 
the mutability of fortune ! Just as this audacious rover of 
the seas was turning homeward for renewed supplies and a 
fresh start in further buccaneering, she encountered disaster 
as unexpected and startling as lightning would have been 
coming from a clear sky. She was on the lookout for her 
enemies, and with a fighting captain and willing crew, or 
with swift heels, as circumstances might require, felt rea- 
sonably secure ; but if her captain prayed at all, he might 
well change his supplications now and pray to be delivered 
from his friends, for it was into their hands that the Ven- 
geance fell, with results undreamed of from the worst of 
her foes. The story is told bv the original draft from the 



64 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

hand of John Richardson, which was evidently copied and 
signed by officers and crew in the vain hope of possible re- 
dress at the hands of His Britannic Majesty's government: 

On Friday 21st May 1779 Between 6 and 7 P M saw Two 
Sail Bearing about E. standing towards us, which we con- 
jectured to be some of the Rebel Cruizers, but being so near 
dark could not determine their Size. The Tryon Brig Capt. 
Sibbles and we kept close together and Hauled our Wind 
for them, which the Brig Diana (from Surinam for Xew 
York whom we had spoke in the forenoon,) observing, bore 
down towards us for protection. About 9PM we ob- 
served them close to us on our Starboard Bow, and the Lee- 
wardmost who appeared the largest seemed to be running 
athwart us — upon which we kept away a little and fired a 
Gun across his Forefoot to bring him too to speak with him. 
Having soon after shot up abreast of him, he Hauled his 
Wind on the same Tack as we (viz the Wind at Starboard) 
and appeared to be a very large Ship. We hailed him when 
he answered the Harcourt, Store Ship from London, and 
Capt. Dean then repeatedly and distinctly replied the Ven- 
geance a Privateer belonging to New York George Dean 
Commander. He ordered us to "Hoist out our Boat or he 
would fire a Broadside into us" : Capt. Dean answered : If 
you will take in your Top Gallant Sails and shorten sail I 
will do it immediately : Then says he "lower down your 
Topsails," which was done and afterwards without any 
other warning he poured into us a whole Broadside of 
Round and Grape, and Vollies of small Arms and Swivels 
from her three Tops and Poop. We now saw her to be a 
two Decker and by the light could plainly perceive the Eng- 
lish Colours : Capt. Dean during this repeatedly hailed and 
told him we were a friend to the British Flag which had 
been displayed before coming near him, but he paid not the 
smallest attention to it — some of the people say they Heard 
repeated orders given on Board the Ship to "fire alow and 
aloft, and be sure to Hull her." Our People seeing them- 
selves doomed to destruction without mercy, said they might 
at least have the satisfaction of returning the fire, therefore 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 65 

notwithstanding Capt. Dean's repeated orders to the con- 
trary fired the greatest part of our Broadside, and it was 
with the utmost difficulty they were stopt as they saw no 
hopes of Quarters. Not satisfied with one Broadside he 
continued in the same manner near half an hour untill he 
discharged at least five into us. The Tryon being a little 
way astern began to fire after the Ship's second Broadside, 
but stopt on being hailed by Capt. Dean and told that it was 
a British Man of War. All these things he well paid no 
attention to altho' he must have heard us not being half the 
distance we were from the Brig, and notwithstanding it was 
repeatedly told him who we were, and that we were sinking. 
At last he stopt and we finding several Shot between Wind 
and Water, the Carpenters reported their apprehensions of 
being unable to keep the Vessel up : upon which Capt. Dean 
again hailed them, and they answering he begged them to 
send their Boats as we were Sinking to save the People, but 
not the smallest notice was taken of it. Being apprehensive 
of his going to begin his horrid work again our Boat was 
hoisted out as soon as the shattered situation of the Vessel 
would allow and the 26. Lieut, and Copies of our Commis- 
sion sent on Board : Instead of expressing the least con- 
trition for his Conduct, his Language only seemed to indi- 
cate his being sorry that he had not sunk us all. They asked 
how many we had killed or wounded, however our officer 
going away on such a hurry could not give particular in- 
formation on that head, but said he wished to get back as 
soon as possible, as he was afraid before that time we had 
gone down ; In answer to this he was informed he must 
first go on board the Frigate and the Ship instead of bearing 
down to us to afford the assistance which humanity even to 
Rebels would have dictated, kept his Wind and went from 
us with the other Vessels. The officers in the Frigate be- 
haved with great complaisance to our officer showed great 
compassion for us and offered to send their Surgeons in 
case we had none. During the absence of our Boat we hap- 
pily found on more particular examination that our Hull 
was not so much damaged as we imagined, and got the Holes 
plugged up. All the Comfort our Boat brought us was that 



66 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

it was His Majesty's Ship Renown of 50 Guns Capt. Dawson 
with orders to keep by him all night (which was a thing not 
in our power, our Vessel having almost everything shot to 
pieces and entirely out of command) as there were several 
Rebel Frigates cruising there, and pretended that he under- 
stood we hailed from Boston, and took us for them, altho' 
we were within Pistol Shot all the time. 

Honour forbid asking Protection from such a Man ; the 
Enemy we were not afraid of, as for upwards of 8 days we 
had been cruizing along that Coast for the purpose of fall- 
ing with some of their Privateers to have revenge for the 
loss of 3 of our Prises amissing and imagined to be retaken 
by them and at any rate it was impossible they could use us 
worse: The Relation is tiresome, and for the sake of Hu- 
man Nature it were to be wished that such Conduct was 
buried in perpetual oblivion ; but Justice forbids it and the 
Honour of Britain requires that such wanton and unpro- 
voked cruelty, unworthy of a Briton, and for the Mischief 
produced by which Barbarity itself would even drop a Tear ; 
should be held up to Mankind in its true and genuine light. 
Capt. Dean received a contusion in his left hand. One fine 
young lad wounded by a Musket Ball which penetrated his 
left Arm near the Shoulder, and breaking the Collar Bone, 
lodged in the right side of his Neck : The Ball was happily 
cut out, but it is much to be feared it will prove mortal: 
Another had his left Arm from the Shoulder Blade to the 
Elbow, shattered all to pieces by a Cannon Ball in a most 
shocking manner; his Wound is likewise mortal: and a 
third had his left shoulder Blade grazed by a Grape Shot or 
Ball which took off the Flesh from the other and part of the 
Bone, and in all appearance his Fate will be the same as the 
others. We were hulled in nine places ; our Main Mast al- 
most entirely shot away about 9 feet from the Deck by a 24 
pounder ; our Foremast wounded very much about the mid- 
dle, our Main Cap gone, several of our Yards hurt ; and our 
Boats, Sails, Standing and running rigging near entirely 
ruined. In short Words are insufficient to describe the Hor- 
rid scene. The damage is great and cannot possibly be as- 
certained, as besides the expence of refitting the Vessel it 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 67 

has knocked up our Cruize. The Tryon happily received no 
further Damage than 2 or 3 people slightly wounded Capt. 
Sibles humanely offered us every assistance and staid by us 
till next day, when we had got our Main Mast fished and our 
other Damage so far repaired as to be able to make a Shift 
to get to New York. We likewise must not forget to men- 
tion Capt. Philips of the Diana, who staid in sight of us till 
next forenoon when finding us still afloat, he naturally con- 
cluded, the only assistance in his power which was to save 
the people in case of our sinking could not be longer 
requisite. 

On Board the Snow Vengeance Saturday 226. May 1779. 

Signed by 

When, a few days later, the Vengeance sighted Sandy 
Hook, it was not to make that triumphant return towards 
which her officers and crew had looked with jubilant ex- 
pectation ; instead, she crept up the Narrows disabled and 
humiliated and anchored at New York as one who has been 
wounded seeks a hospital. During the three or four months 
that followed it cost a pretty penny to repair the damage 
wrought by Captain Dawson of His Britannic Majesty's 
Ship Renown, but the renovation went steadily forward. 
The prize schooner Fannie was purchased at public sale for 
an even £500 and fitted up to serve as a tender for the Ven- 
geance. New cordage, new spars, new sails and anchors 
were provided for both ; two new "double fortified 4 pound- 
ers" were bought at a cost of £100; powder and ammunition 
costing £672 is. iod. were added to that which remained 
from the first cruize ; a new boat was purchased for £84 ; 
the "good night glass" was not forgotten ; abundant pro- 
visions were supplied, including the "parcel of bread from 
the Le Hardy" which Captain Dean had desired, and when 
the privateer and her tender were again ready for the sea 
the debit side of the privateer's account stood charged with 
the handsome sum of £7151 17s. 5J^d. York currency. The 
schooner was re-christened the Langolee, Captain Black, 
commander, with 22 officers and men, and both set sail 
Monday, September 28, for a trial trip preparatory to their 



68 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

longer cruize. A portion of the log of the Langolee is pre- 
served which tells us what the daily rations of a privateers- 
man were in the 18th century. Breakfast was at 8 A. M., 
dinner at noon. Each man was to have six pounds of bread 
per week, with a half pint of rum per day, his grog to be 
stopped for wrangling or quarrelling, or for getting drunk ; 
"Bargow and Butter" for breakfast, with a pound of beef at 
dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and on the 
alternate days rice and butter for breakfast with a pound of 
pork with pulse for dinner and on Sundays rice and molasses 
for breakfast with flour and beef for dinner. 

On the second day after sailing they succeeded in cap- 
turing the American privateer sloop Revenge, Captain Ed- 
ward Yorke, from Philadelphia, a vessel of 35 tons burthen 
with a crew of 30 officers and men ; armed with eight three 
pound and two pound cannon and eight swivel guns, com- 
missioned, as the condemnation papers recite, "by the per- 
sons Stiling themselves the Delegates of the United States 
of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Con- 
necticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, the three 
lower Counties on Delaware Maryland Virginia, North 
Carolina South Carolina, and Georgia, Rebels to our Lord 
the now King to Cruize against the Vessels and Effects of 
His Majestys Liege Subjects/' The portion of the Lango- 
lee's log which is preserved ends October 9th, when the ten- 
der, having become separated from the Vengeance, was be- 
ing pursued by some larger craft and it would appear that 
she was captured by the vigilant Yankees, for reference is 
afterwards made to the exchange of some of her crew in- 
cluding Captain Dean's brother. The Vengeance, however, 
returned to New York, and completed such further prepara- 
tions as were needful. On November 5, 1779, Captain Dean 
writes from Sandy Hook: "I have just now returned from 
on board the Admiral, who gives me Permission to sail 
without even being examined. The Anchor is just heaving 
up and we proceed to Sea immediately. ... If there is 
any Opportunity of writing to Bermuda I beg you will not 
Omit it as 'tis highly probable I will touch there for Water." 

Fortune, that fickle dame, did not smile upon the Ven- 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 69 

geance now as once she did. An unkindly fate that had 
touched her with a heavy hand when she encountered the 
Renown, still followed her on her second cruize. When next 
the doughtv captain wrote, his tone was by no means cheer- 
ful. 

St. Simons on board the Vengeance 
Deer. 26th 1779 

Dr. Sir : I wrote You from the Hook informing you 
of my intention of proceeding to Sea immediately which I 
did with the Loss of my Anchor. I'm sorry to tell you that a 
Series of hard Luck has attended me ever since — being ob- 
liged to quit the Coast off Virginia, where I intended to 
cruize for some time, by the continual heavy Gales. Deer. 
22d I arrived at the Island of St. Simons to clean and Water 
— and have had the Misfortune [to] lose my Boat with 
twelve hands. I hope however they cannot escape, as I mean 
to pursue them immediately to Savannah — where I suppose 
they have gone. I will be able to write you more fully from 
that place. In haste I am Dr. Sir 

Your most Obt. Servt 

George Dean 

A fortnight later he wrote as promised. 

Savannah, 10th Jany. 1780. 

Dear Sir: I wrote from St. Simons, informing You 
of my safe Arrival at that place, and my Intention of 
cleaning and Watering there. It inform'd You likewise of 
the Loss of My Boat and twelve hands, who found means 
to give me the Slip on Christmass Night. Three Days after, 
however, I had the good Fortune to catch them all, on my 
Way here, Two of the Ring-Leaders I properly secur'd and 
brought with Me. The rest I left in Irons on board the 
Snow. 

My Expedition to this place has been truly a disagreeable 
one — having been driven ashore on the Island of St. Cath- 
arine's, and very narrowly escap'd with My Life, and since 
my Arrival here, three of my Boat's Crew (Hugh Wyllie, 
John Xeilson and John Harris) on whose Fidelity I thought 



70 A BRITISH PRIVATEER 

I cou'd depend, have deserted, and left me in the Lurch. 
This last Circumstance has distressed me greatly — detaining 
me so much longer than I expected. Tomorrow, however, 
I set off for St. Simons and hope to proceed to Sea imme- 
diately on my Arrival there. 

As I stood in Need of some Necessaries — I have drawn 
on You for £40 Stg. in favour of Mr. John Tunno, a Copy 
of the Accot. You have enclos'd. 

I hope I shall soon have the pleasure of writing You on a 
more agreeable Subject. 

If I shou'd have the good Fortune to take any prizes I 
shall send them to this Place or to Bermuda, 'till I can have 
an Opportunity of convoying them to York myself. 

A Stephen joins me in wishing to be remember'd to You 
and Mr. Richardson. 

Believe me to be, with great Esteem 

Your most Obedt. Servt. 

George Dean. 

By the endorsements in the hand of John Porteous it ap- 
pears that it was April 27, 1780, before either this letter or 
the one that preceded it reached New York, and this was the 
last that was ever heard of Captain George Dean or of the 
privateer Vengeance. 

July II, 1780, John Richardson, who had not accom- 
panied the Vengeance on her last cruize, wrote to Mr. Por- 
teous from Sandy Hook as he was about leaving on a mer- 
cantile venture to Charleston, S. C. : "Yesterday a brig 
passed from Bermuda which I took to be Morgans, and it gave 
me the utmost uneasiness. I was from the same reason pre- 
vented from getting on board her to see if I could learn any- 
thing of Poor Dean. I beg you'll not forget to let me know 
first opportunity to Charlestown if you have heard of him." 
On August 22d he wrote from Charlestown : "Pray have 
you heard anything of poor Dean? Mr. Tunno's Brother 
informed me it was his firm intention to cruize a little time 
off Virginia and if still unsuccessful push for the West 
Indies, as he was determined to bottomry the Vessel rather 
than not do something:, well knowing that returning without 



p— --"' 



IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 71 

a prize was almost equivalent to a total loss of the Vessel. 
As this is the case I form hopes that he is yet safe poor fel- 
low." 

January 20, 1781, Captain George Knowles, who had been 
the first lieutenant of the Vengeance on her former cruize, 
now having another command, wrote from Charleston, S. C. : 
"I am bound tor Jamaica and I hoap to learn som Acount of 
the Snow Vengeance." It proved a vain hope, and two years 
later, in April, 1783, a letter from England to Mr. Porteous 
written by Trevor Bomford, announcing the death of his 
brother Thomas Bomford (late captain in the 35th infan- 
try), who had been a shareholder in the Vengeance, says, "I 
will esteem it a particular favor if you will acquaint me, par- 
ticularly about the Snow Vengeance and if She has been 
heard of." 

Whether the ship was lost in some fierce battle with the 
elements, or was sunk by the guns of her enemies, remained 
shrouded in mystery and may never be known. With that 
iast word of hopeful expectation from her courageous Cap- 
tain, her record was closed ; the Vengeance with her officers 
and crew disappeared from history and passed forever out 
of mortal sight and ken. 





















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IV. ROBERT HAMILTON, 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEENSTON. 



The warning which that royal scapegrace Prince Hal 
gave to his boon companion Falstaff, ''List if thou canst 
hear the tread of travellers," might well be taken for their 
motto by those who would revive the memories of the past 
and reproduce the scenes of centuries that are fled ; for 
though we may not share the optimistic faith of Shakespeare, 
who tells us by the false Duke of Milan's lips that "travellers 
ne'er did lie," yet without their aid historical research would 
ofttimes fail and old-time landmarks be forgotten. In this 
respect our Niagara frontier is fortunate, for the world-wide 
fame of the great cataract led many early travellers hither 
to tell their stories, each in his own way, and very often to 
our edification and advantage. 

So it happened that in 1795 a French nobleman, the Duke 
de la Rochefoucault Liancourt, visited Niagara, and jour- 
neying from Fort Erie northward to Newark or West Ni- 
agara, a cluster of 100 houses on Mississaga Point where 
Niagara-cn-the-Lake now stands, he paid his respects in 
passing to the little village of Queenston, which had sprung 
up at the beginning of the portage on the British side of the 
river leading around the falls to Chippewa. 

He writes under date of June 22, 1795 : "The roads from 
Pert Erie to Newark are tolerably open and lie for the most 



73 



74 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

part over a sandy ground which renders it more easy to 
keep them in repair. The frequent passage to and fro in this 
part of the country does not destroy them. Such com- 
modities as are destined for the upper country are unshipped 
in Queen's Town, and goods expedited from it are em- 
barked in this place. The different buildings constructed 
three years ago, consist of a tolerable inn, two or three good 
storehouses, some small houses, a block-house of stone cov- 
ered with iron, and barracks which should be occupied by 
the regiment of General Simcoe, but which are now unoc- 
cupied, the regiment being quartered in another part of the 
province. Mr. Hamilton, an opulent merchant, who is con- 
cerned in the whole inland trade of this part of America, 
possesses in Queen's Town a very fine house built in the 
Englisii style, a distillery and tan-yard. This merchant 
bears an excellent character; he is a member of the Legis- 
lature of Upper Canada, but at present in England.''* 

Concerning the Honorable Robert Hamilton, who is thus 
introduced to us, Dr. William CannifT states in his "History 
of the Province of Ontario" (p. 598) that it is said he 
"died leaving an estate worth £200,000." 

It seems a curious fact that so little should remain upon 
record concerning this founder of Queenston, a man who 
was of such importance at the time in which he lived, who 
was so intimately concerned in the politics of Upper Canada, 
whose business was so extended and prosperous, and who 
accumulated such extraordinary wealth for that early day. 
Some old letters from his pen which have lately come to 
light awakened a desire to know something more concern- 
ing him who wrote them, but the results of a careful re- 
search seem far from satisfactory and give but a meagre out- 
line of his story. 

He was the son of a Scotch clergyman, the Rev. John 
Hamilton of the old Dumfries family, born 17 14, died 1797, 
who was minister of Bolton, Haddingtonshire, Scotland. A 
cousin had emigrated to America and was a hose-maker 



•"Travels through the United States of North America," etc., in the years 
1795. 1796 and 1797, by the Duke de la Rochefoucault Liancourt. English 
edition, London, 1799. P- 214. 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEEN STON. 75 

somewhere in New England, and it was to join him that 
young- Robert Hamilton crossed the Atlantic at some time 
between 1760 and 1770. 

Concerning his early career there is no record whatever, 
nor can we learn whether he went to Canada before the out- 
break of the Revolution. Possibly, as in the case of his 
friend and associate Richard Cartwright, his loyalty to the 
Crown led him to leave rebellious New England when trou- 
bles threatened, for in June, 1779, we find him established 
as trader or factor at Carleton Island at the eastern end of 
Lake Ontario. In May, 1778, British troops detached from 
the garrisons at Niagara and Oswegatchie had taken pos- 
session of what had formerly been called Deer or Buck 
Island, changing its name in honor of General Guy Carleton, 
establishing a military post known as Fort Haldimand and 
building wharves and storehouses. Carleton Island then 
became the point for reshipment for stores of all kinds 
brought in bateaux from Montreal for the supply of the 
western posts during the continuance of the war. Here we 
have our first glimpse of Robert Hamilton in a letter written 
by him June 29, 1779, to Francis Goring, trader's clerk at 
Fort Niagara, informing him that the General had refused 
to allow passes for the merchants' goods going to the upper 
posts.* 

Niagara was a busy place in those days, for almost all 
goods for the upper posts had to pass that way and Lt. Col. 
Bolton, then in command, complained bitterly that the fort 
itself was "quite lumbered with merchandise" and that even 
the officers' barracks were filled with goods, causing him 
apprehension that this might be a temptation to the enemy 
to attack his isolated post. 

Isolated it certainly was and Hamilton's correspondent, 
Francis Goring, who had lived there from August, 1776, as 
clerk for Edward Pollard, the leading trader and for his 
successors, Captain Thomas Robison and George Forsyth, 
wrote September 23, 1779: "This is a place which you may 
say is almost out of the world, in the woods, and frequented 
by nothing but Indians except the people of the garrison. 

'Transactions Canadian Institute, December, 1895, p. 303. 



76 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

... At this place is carried on a great business which 
consumes every year £30,000 Sterling worth of merchandise 
of all sorts, which is mostly retailed to the Indians."* 

At this time there would seem to have been some busi- 
ness connection between these correspondents. Francis 
Goring had been in Edward Pollard's employment and al- 
though that successful trader had by 1779 accumulated a 
fortune that permitted him to return to England, some of his 
interests were doubtless still committed to Goring's care. 
September 14, 1779, the latter wrote to Hamilton : "To- 
bacco is a very scarce article at Detroit and sells at from 
eight to ten shillings a pound. I have made out another In- 
dian account for £5808 17s. ^ T / 2 d., which is now gone to the 
Indian country to be certified, "t and Edward Pollard wrote 
to Goring from London, 27th March, 1780: "By this con- 
veyance I send Mr. Douglas to assist you. He supplies the 
place of Air. Hamilton who leaves you in June/'t 

Among the Haldimand papers is a memorandum of 
"Goods belonging to Forsyth & Dyce, Merchts, Detroit, now 
laying at Carleton Island, April 20th, 1780, under charge of 
R. Hamilton. "§ 

It was probably about this time that he entered into part- 
nership with Richard Cartwright, a young man of excellent 
education, born at Albany in 1759, whose thoughts had 
turned to the ministry, but who had accompanied his parents 
to Canada at the outbreak of the Revolution "and for a time 
attended Colonel Butler of the Rangers as his Secretary." 
Bishop Strachan in his sketch of Cartwright says : "At the 
solicitation of a near and worthy relation he formed a con- 
nection with the Honorable Robert Plamilton, a gentleman 
of such varied information, engaging manners and princely 
hospitality, as to be justly esteemed an honour to the Prov- 
ince. Flis memory is gratefully remembered by thousands 
whom his magnanimous liberality rescued from famine. 
The connection subsisted with great satisfaction to both 

Transactions Canadian Institute, September, 1S93, p. 274. 
■{Transactions Canadian Institute, December, 1S95, p. 304. 
+"Buffalo and the Senecas," Wm. Ketchum; Vol. II., p. 122. 
§Canadian Archives, Haldimand Col., B. 127, p. 136. 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEENSTON. 77 

parties for several years, when, on account of the extent of 
their business, a separation took place by mutual consent, 
Mr. Hamilton going to Niagara, and Mr. Cartwright re- 
maining at Kingston ; but their mutual regard and friend- 
ship was only dissolved by death. "* 

In 1782 the settlement on the north shore of Lake On- 
tario at Cataraqui (Kingston) was in progress. A wharf 
was built and permanent buildings were being erected and 
apparently at this time the business of Hamilton and Cart- 
wright was transferred from Carleton Island, as under date 
of November 2, 1782, Robert Hamilton gave an obligation 
to the Canadian Government "not to consider the house he 
has built (at Cataraqui) as private property, but subject to 
demolition if required by the King's service or to forfeiture 
in event of bad conduct. "t 

The records do not show just when Robert Hamilton re- 
moved to Niagara. It is probable that the general trading 
and forwarding business in which Hamilton and Cartwright 
were engaged made it advisable that one of the partners 
should be at Niagara while the other remained at Kingston. 
A letter written by a Miss Powell during a journey from 
Montreal to Detroit in May, 1785, says: "Fort Niagara is 
by no means pleasantly situated. It is built close upon the 
lake which gains upon it so fast that in a few years they 
must be overflowed. There, however, we passed some days 
very agreeably at the house of a Mr. Hamilton, a sensible, 
worthy man. Mrs. Hamilton is an amiable, sweet little 
woman ; I regretted very much she did not live at Detroit 
instead of at Niagara." 

Robert Hamilton was first married to Catherine Askin, 
widow of John Robertson, and their eldest son was born at 
Fort Niagara, in 1787. This was the first year of the "great 
famine" among- the loyalists who had emigrated to Canada 
after the close of the war, and it is doubtless to his generous 
benefactions to those in distress at this time that Bishop 
Strachan so feelingly alludes. 

*"Life and Letters of the late Richard Cartwright," Toronto, 1876, p. 14. 
tCanadian Archives, Haldimand Col., B. 126, p. 72. 
^'Buffalo and the Senecas," Wm. Ketchum, Vol. II., p. 90. 



78 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

Inasmuch as the British continued to hold possession of 
the western posts until 1796, thirteen years after the signing 
of the definitive treaty of peace, under which they should 
have been delivered over to the United States, the route of 
western travel remained unchanged for many years and pro- 
visions and stores for the British garrisons at Detroit and 
Michillimackmac, as well as the Indian goods and general 
supplies for the fur traders, continued to pass over the Ni- 
agara portage as they had since the capture of Fort Niagara 
by the British in 1759. The goods, securely packed for 
rough handling, were brought to the landing at Lewiston by 
small sailing vessels or by bateaux and were hoisted to the 
top of the "mountain" by Montresor's "cradles," then carted 
over the long portage road to Fort Schlosser and sent by 
boats to Fort Erie, where they were finally reshipped to their 
destination. 

When it became evident that sooner or later the posts 
must be given up to the Americans, who would then control 
the old Niagara portage, the British traders and forwarders 
appreciated the need of a new road upon the Canadian side 
by which they could pass the falls on their way to the west- 
ern lakes and as early as 1789 Robert Hamilton obtained 
permission to erect wharves and storehouses on the west 
side of the river as well as at Chippewa and Fort Erie. Ac- 
cordingly a wharf was built oil the west bank of the Niagara 
opposite the time-honored landing at Lewiston and a road 
laid out to Chippewa, which now supplanted Fort Schlosser 
as the point of transfer on the water route to Fort Erie. 
This now became "Fort Chippewa" and was protected by a 
small garrison. The new landing on the lower Niagara was 
at first called the "West landing," or more frequently "Land- 
ing of Niagara," until 1792, when under date of November 
26th, we find one of Mr. Hamilton's letters dated "Land- 
ing — now Queenston." Doubtless the new name given in 
honor of Queen Charlotte was adopted at Robert Hamilton's 
suggestion. A stone blockhouse had been built, two or three 
good storehouses erected and gradually the route of travel 
around the falls was changed to the Canadian side of the 
river and Oueenston became for half a century or more a 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEEN ST ON. 79 

busy spot of commercial importance, through which western 
traffic flowed and in later years the tides of western emigra- 
tion, until with the building of railroads westward all this 
was again changed and of the once thriving village there re- 
mained only the sleepy and somewhat ruinous vestiges that 
we know today. 

In 1800, when the English artist John Maude visited Ni- 
agara, he tells us that there were but two houses at Lewiston, 
one being the ferry house, but he was much impressed by 
what he saw at Oueenston. ''There is a portage," he says, 
"from this place to Chippewa, which employs numerous 
teams, chiefly oxen, each cart being drawn by two yoke of 
oxen or two horses ; I passed great numbers on the road 
taking up bales and boxes and bringing down packs of pel- 
tries. Fourteen teams were at the wharf waiting to be 
loaded. Here were also three schooners." 

Maude, however, had his own blunt British opinion of 
what the Duke de la Rochetoucault Liancourt had with fine 
French politeness called in 1795 "a tolerable inn." He says : 
"I sat down to a miserable dinner at Fairbank's Tavern, and 
after dinner sent my introductory letter to Col. Hamilton 
from his friend, Mr. Bache of New York, which procured 
me an invitation to supper. The goodness of the supper 
made amends for the badness of my dinner. Col. Hamilton 
has a good house and garden. "* 

Besides the wharf and storehouse, the farm, the distillery 
and the tanyard which Robert Hamilton had established at 
Queenston, he had erected a handsome stone residence "in 
the English style" on the high bank overlooking the river, 
the site of which may still be marked on the pleasant grounds 
of "Halcyon," the summer residence of Richard K. Noye of 
Buffalo. This was apparently completed and occupied in 
1791, for Captain Patrick Campbell, who visited Niagara 
in that year, writes, under date of December 8th: "Mr. 
Robert Hamilton, a gentleman of the first rank and property 
in the neighborhood, and now one of the Governor's council, 
came also to wait on me, and invite me to his house, an 
honor I readily embraced. He and Mrs. Hamilton were so 

•"Visit to the Falls of Niagara in 1800," by J. Maude, London, 1826, p. 160. 



80 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

very obliging as to go along with me in their own slea, to 
see the Grand Falls of Niagara," and he again notes, Feb- 
ruary 16, 1792, "Called at Mr. Hamilton's and arrived in the 
evening at Niagara."* 

One of the earliest glimpses of this new home comes to us 
from the diary of Mrs. Simcoe, who writes at "Niagara, 30th 
July, 1792 : "We stopped and breakfasted at Air. Hamilton's, 
a merchant who lives two miles from here at the landing, 
where the cargoes going to Detroit are landed and sent 9 
miles to Ft. Chippewa. Mr. Hamilton has a very good stone 
house, the back rooms looking on the river. A gallery, the 
length of the house, is a delightful covered walk, both below 
and above in all weather." 

Such a residence was a landmark on this new and wild 
frontier and was made the more beautiful and noteworthy 
from the generous hospitality with which its friendly doors 
were opened. It became an added pleasure to those often- 
times distinguished people who journeyed far to visit the 
great American cataract if they might be entertained at 
Queenston by Robert Hamilton, and here and there we find 
its acknowledgment, as we have already seen, in their puB- 
lished volumes of travel. 

When the Duke of Kent, the father of Queen Victoria, 
visited Niagara in August, 1792, upon his return from the 
Falls, he was entertained at luncheon by Robert Hamilton, 
as we learn from the manuscript memoirs of Colonel John 
Clark, who calls him "our greatest man next to Simcoe." 

A pleasant picture of festivity in that early day on the 
Niagara frontier as well as of its literary aspiration is the 
account of a wedding in the fine old house, on the night of 
St. Andrew's Day in 1799. Of this the following notice ap- 
peared in the Toronto Constellation, November 23, 1799: 

" Married at the seat of the Hon. Mr. Hamilton at Queens- 
ton, on Sunday last, Mr. Thomas Dickson, merchant, to the amiable 
Mrs. Taylor, daughter of Captain Wilkinson, commanding Fort Erie. 

" For thee, best treasure of a husband's heart, 
Whose bliss it is that thou for life aft so ; 
That thy fond bosom bears a faithful part 
In every casual change his breast may know." 

""Travels in the interior inhabited parts of North America in the years 1791 
and 1792," by P. Campbell, Edinburgh, 1793, pp. 174, 215. 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEENSTON. 81 

The Upper Canada Gazette also pays tribute to the 
charms of the bride to whom the epithet "amiable" is again 
applied, and although this dignified journal does not "drop 
into poetry'' as did its starry rival, it gives the added news, 
that upon this occasion "Hon. R. Hamilton gave a most 
elegant dinner; 30 Scottish gentlemen and 12 others; no 
dinner given in Canada has been equal." 

From the year 1789, when the West landing was built 
and the new portage begun, Robert Hamilton controlled the 
Canadian transfer business on the Niagara and prospered 
therein. Besides the storehouses and other structures at 
Oueenston he had erected similar buildings at Chippewa and 
others at Fort Erie. In 1795, when the Duke de la Roche- 
foucault Liancourt visited the latter place he was but poorly 
impressed with its defensive worth. He says there were a 
few rude wooden blockhouses surrounded with rotting pali- 
sades, occupied by officers and soldiers ; four of a like sort 
outside the palisades used by the workmen and "a large 
magazine or storehouse belonging to the King." Standing 
apart from this he describes a storehouse "belonging to a 
private gentleman in which are housed the goeds for Detroit 
and the West, as well as those coming from thence for Ni- 
agara, Kingston, Montreal or Quebec." This was Hamilton's 
warehouse and a passage in the description indicates in a 
measure the extent of his forwarding business. "The owner 
of the storehouse hires at times about twenty Canadians for 
the shipping and unshipping of the goods, for carrying 
them into the magazines and transporting the boats by land 
to the lower country." 

It would appear that four years later, in 1799, Mr. Hamil- 
ton made further important and costly improvements at Fort 
Erie to meet the necessities of commerce. A letter from R. 
Hamilton & Co., Oueenston, April 24, 1805, addressed to 
James Green, Esq., Military Secy., York, shows that the 
firm had been requested to execute papers that would, if 
need compelled, place all this frontier property at the dis- 
posal of the Government. Against this Mr. Hamilton pro- 
tests, reciting the permission he had received in 1789 to erect 
these buildings and that no restrictions were then imposed, 



82 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

but he relied upon just treatment and the encouragement of 
commerce. "On the faith of this Permission we did at a 
very considerable expense erect wharves and storehouses 
along this communication and through them we have for the 
length of fifteen years, carried on the transfer business of 
the country without question or any interruption or interfer- 
ence on the part of Government, or of any of the Military 
Commandants of the Posts." 

He adds: "We do not object to signing the papers re- 
quired for the stores at this place, and at the Chippewa, where 
our erections are of Wood, and consequently of less value. 
But what can we do with those at Fort Erie, where seven 
years ago, in the firm faith of what is before stated, in the 
view and with the perfect knowledge of the Engineer and all 
the Military in these parts, we have erected a wharf and 
stone storehouse in a situation, where a store of other ma- 
terials could not properly stand, at the expense of not less 
than four thousand dollars, and we are now called upon to 
declare under our hands that in so doing we have forfeited all 
right to the permission granted us of possessing a lott there. 
Surely a concession so unreasonable will never be required 
of us'"* 

There is nothing to show that the exigencies of the times 
required any destruction of these valuable properties until 
the War of 1S12 swept the frontier, which was after Mr. 
Hamilton's death. 

By proclamation, dated July 24, 1788, Lord Dorchester, 
Governor General of Canada, divided Upper Canada into 
four districts : Lunenburgh, extending from the Lower 
Canada line to the river Thames; Mecklenburgh, from the 
Thames to the Trent ; Nassau, from the Trent to Long 
Point on Lake Erie, and Hesse, covering the remainder of 
Western Canada, including Detroit. He appointed a judge 
and a sheriff for each district and made Robert Hamilton 
Judge of Xassau, while his old friend and partner, Richard 
Cartwright, became Judge of Mecklenburgh. As military 
law had hitherto prevailed, these were the first courts of jus- 
tice and the first magistrates in the province and concerning 

•Canadian Archives, Series C, Vol. 272, p. 124. 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEENSTON. 83 

them Cannift says, "The Judge seems to have been clothed 
with almost absolute power. He dispensed justice according 
to his own understanding or interpretation of the law, and a 
Sheriff or Constable stood ready to carry out the decision, 
which in his wisdom he might arrive at." 

When the separation of the provinces occurred and the 
Government of Upper Canada was first organized in July, 
1792, by Colonel John Graves Simcoe, the pioneer Lieuten- 
ant Governor under Lord Dorchester, a Legislative Council, 
consisting of nine members, was summoned, Robert Hamil- 
ton and Richard Cartwright being of the number. During 
his administration Governor Simcoe acknowledged his in- 
debtedness to Mr. Hamilton for much valuable information 
received from him respecting matters of commerce, par- 
ticularly regarding the Indian trade, but both Hamilton and 
Cartwright found themselves much at variance with the 
Governor, whom they thought extravagant in his caprices, 
desiring measures "inapplicable to the state of society in this 
country." This awakened his lively displeasure and caused 
him with great injustice to represent both as being "inimical 
to Government" and to denounce Hamilton as an "avowed 
Republican." Concerning this Mr. Cartwright wrote Octo- 
ber 1, 1794, "I will not hesitate to assert that his Majesty 
has not two more loyal subjects, and in this province none 
more useful, than Mr. Hamilton and myself, nor shall even 
the little pitiful jealousy that exists with respect to us make 
us otherwise. And though I hope we shall always have for- 
titude enough to do our duty,' we are by no means disposed 
to form cabals, and certainly have not. nor do, intend wan- 
tonly to oppose or thwart the Governor."* 

Dr. Cannift states that prior to 1799, when Dr. Strachan 
came to Kingston, the only able teacher in Upper Canada 
was the Rev. John Stuart of that place. "Hon. Robert 
Hamilton of Oueenston had at that time a brother living in 
Scotland and it was through him that an offer was made 
first to the celebrated Dr. Chalmers. He did not desire to 
come- and mentioned the name of his friend, Strachan, to 

*"Life and Letters of Richard Cartwright," p. 59. 



84 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

whom the offer was then made and who decided to come." 
At a later day he became the first Bishop of Toronto. 

Mr. Hamilton's first wife having- died in 1796, he was 
again married to Mary Herkimer, widow of Xeil McLean. 
He had five children by his first wife and three by his second. 
He died at Queenston, March 8, 1809. The York Gazette 
of March 22, 1809, says : "His public utility, benevolence 
and conciliating disposition will render his death long and 
feelingly regretted." 

The letters which follow are selected from a considerable 
number recently found, Covering Robert Hamilton's cor- 
respondence at intervals from 1789 to 1799 with Mr. Por- 
teous, a merchant at Little Falls, N. Y. John Porteous. a 
native of Perth, Scotland, had come to America about the 
year 1761, and had been associated with James Sterling and 
Phyn & Ellice of Schenectady in the fur trade at Detroit 
and Michillimackinac until the beginning of the Revolu- 
tionary War. While the British army occupied New York 
he was engaged in general merchandizing there, but after the 
evacuation went to Nova Scotia, where he remained until 
about 17S8, when he returned to the State of Xew York and 
still retaining a connection with James Phyn and Alexander 
Ellice of London, took up lands at the Little Falls en the 
Mohawk River, where he built a flouring mill and carried on 
a trading business until his death in 1799. 

When the correspondence began Hamilton and Cart- 
wright were the leading merchants at Fort Niagara ; the 
loyalist emigration from the United States had settled the 
Canadian border ; there was a small village on the western 
bank of the Niagara River opposite the old fort, largely 
settled by officers and men who had been enrolled in Butler's 
Rangers; the three years of famine and destitution were 
about ended ; the British held the western posts with un- 
yielding tenacity in despite of all negotiations for their ces- 
sion, and exerted every endeavor to keep the Indians as their 
allies and to maintain a firm grasp upon the western fur 
trade. 

At this time Hamilton was seeking permission to build 
his wharf and storehouse at the West landing, and his let- 



THE ROUNDER OF QUEENSTON. 85 

ters are of interest as giving 1 occasional glimpses of life and 
its doings on this distant frontier, of some of the men con- 
cerned therein and of his own habit of thought and prudent 
judgment in public as well as private affairs. 

In September, 1789, John Richardson, who had formerly 
been intimately associated with John Porteous at New 
York,* now engaged in the Indian trade at Montreal and 
later a member of the first Legislative Council of Quebec, 
visited the western trading posts and wrote: "Col. Hunter 
has left Niagara and is succeeded by Col. Harris. . . . 
The forts in the Upper Country are all undergoing a repair 
this year, so that there appears no idea of delivering them 
over to Jonathan, and to take them by force would not be an 
easy business for him, were he so inclined." At Niagara he 
had made the acquaintance of Robert Hamilton, whose let- 
ters now begin. 

Niagara, 28 Oct. 89. 

D-e-ar Sir : The enclosed, from my friend Mr. Richard- 
son was intended to recommend me to your Kind Civilities. 
I have occasion instantly to put these to the test, by troubling 
you to Recover for some persons here, a sum of money due 
by a Capt. Bend Frey, late of this place, but now residing in 
your neighborhood. He is intitled to half pay as Captain in 
Col. Butler's Rangers. I now inclose a power of Attorney 
by which he constitutes Mesrs. Phyn & Ellice irrevocably 
as his Agents. Also an Assignation of this half pay, by 
which he proposes to pay his Creditors and an obligation 
to put the Youtchers for this regularly into your hands as 
they become due. Lest these should fail he has granted a 
Bond also payable to you for same sum. by which we pre- 
sume you may in force the other, should he prove backward 
in delivering the Youtchers. These when obtained will you 
be so oblidging to take to your own Account and have the 
Goodness to answer my drfts for the Amount, which shall 
only be given when you inform me you are in Cash for the 
same. My principal wish in settling it in this way is to pro- 
vide a little fund to answer occasionally small demands due 
by persons with you. The terms of Agency I leave intirely 

*Se"e "A British Privateer in the American Revolution," ante, p. 4;. 



86 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

to yourself. I will Account with the other Creditors here for 
the separate Amounts clue them. For all this trouble I can 
only plead your Goodness, and my own willingness to serve 
you whenever Occasion shall put it in my power. 
With Sincere Respect I remain, Dear Sir, 

Your most humble Servt, 
Mr. John Porteous. R - Hamilton. 

This Captain Bernard Frey, sometimes called Barent 
Frey, was a member of a prominent family in the Mohawk- 
Valley which had become bitterly divided at the outbreak of 
the Revolution. His brother, Major John Frey, became an 
officer in the American army, while another brother, Colonel 
Hendrick Frey, who had fought bravely in the French war, 
retained his loyalist sympathies throughout the struggle 
for independence, but took no active part on either side. 
When the war broke out Bernard Frey, with his nephew, 
Philip R. Frey (son of Col. Hendrick Frey), went to Canada 
and himself became a captain in Butler's Rangers. He 
fought at the battle of Oriskany and later in all the fierce 
border forays at Wyoming, Cherry Valley and on the Mo- 
hawk, and Stone's life of Brant publishes the extraordinary 
statement of an eye witness that when Major John Frey was 
made captive, Bernard attempted to take his brother's life 
and was only restrained by force. He received a large grant 
at Whitby from the Crown, and lived until 1813 when he 
was killed at Newark by an American cannon ball from Fort 
Niagara. By the assignment and bond which were en- 
closed with this letter it appears that he then owed Hamil- 
ton & Cartwright £243, Street & Butler £156 18s. gy 2 d., 
John Burch £109 9s. Hj^d., John Thompson £10 I2d. and 
Philip Stedman £5 10s., New York currency, all of these 
parties being named as merchants at Niagara. 

Several letters now passed between Mr. Hamilton and 
his correspondent with reference to Captain Frey's affairs 
and the following alludes to another similar case : 

Niagara, Deer. 10, 1790. 

Gentlemen: I am favored with yours pr Mr. McEwan 
and have charged him Two pounds five shillings and nine 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEEN ST ON. 87 

pence York agreeable to your request, which sum is at your 
Credit with me. When Leisure permits I will thank you to 
mention if Capt. Frey has given his six months Voutchers 
to June to you or if there is a Chance of getting those to 
24th Inst without trouble. 

Permitt me also to mention that another of our Captains 
— Andrew Bradt — is now down with you and may perhaps 
be induced to raise money on his Voutchers. He has As- 
signed over the whole of his half pay to the Creditors here 
for some years to come, which Assignation is lodged with 
his Agents, who are apointed irrevocably, so that his Voutch- 
ers can not serve, but thro their hands. This for your 
Guidance should he apply to you — I would not, however, 
wish his Situation generally known. 

The present will be handed you by Lieut. Gillespie of the 
65th Regt who has resided at this post for some time and 
who now passes your place in his Rout to New York. You 
will Confer a particular favor on me by showing him any 
Civility in your power. Should any Circumstance occur 
that might induce him to apply for pecuniary Assistance you 
may depend on his Bills on Canada or London being duly 
honord as should those on me should he think proper to 
draw. 

Excuse this trouble and believe me Gentlemen, 
Your most humle Svt. 

R. Hamilton. 
Messrs. Porteous & Pollard. 

The next letter touches upon public affairs and was writ- 
ten from the new "Landing of Niagara," whither the 
changes in his business matters frequently called him at this 
time. 

Landing of Niagara, May 22d, 1791. 

Dear Sir : I am this day favored with yours of 10th 
March and 2nd Inst, and take the earliest oportunity of re- 
turning my thanks for your kind attention to Capt. Freys 
Business. The Intelligence of the fate of his Bills comes 
most oportunely to help me to settle the affairs of a Major 
Nellis lately deceased in this Province and who has left con- 



88 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

siderable property, part of it to his two sons residing in your 
Neighborhood. Another son he has had at the School of 
Schenectady for some time and for his Expenses I have 
valued on you at 30 days for Forty-five pounds, Ten Shil- 
lings — In favor of John H. Nellis. I have also valued on 
you for £20 positively and for thirty-two pounds Ten — 
when you shall be in Cash for the Voutchers before men- 
tioned to 24th Dec. A third son (name unknown) has from 
the same Estate to Receive £190 York. For any part of 
which should it suit you as a Merchant to deal with him, I 
shall be happy in securing you, prior to his coming here to 
settle the Business. I directly forwarded Mr. Burchs Letter 
as you desire. He lives 10 miles from this and I'm afraid 
may not hear in time of the present oportunity to Embrace it. 
Our lattest Accounts from Britain say nothing as yet 
about giving up these posts. Our present Care in repairing 
them with the utmost diligence seem to point out the wish 
of making them worth something as Military posts when 
given up. Should such an Event take place the Pleasure of 
hearing from, perhaps Occasionally seeing our friends from 
your Quarter would in part recompense the Chagrin it might 
otherwise Occasion. Do me the honor of Accepting my 
Drafts and Believe me 

Dear Sir Your most hum. Servt. 

R. Hamilton.. 
John Porteous, Esq. 

Major Robert Nellis, to whom the foregoing letter refers, 
had been an officer of Butler's Rangers and from ;'il docu- 
ments found with the letter it appears that the drafts in 
favor of his children were duly accepted and paid. The 
next letter, written on the eve of Colonel Simcoe's arrival to 
take up the reins of government in the newly-created Upper 
Province, is of much interest as indicative of the thoughtful 
judgment of one of its leading men deeply concerned for the 
best welfare of his country. 

Niagara, 2nd August, 1791. 

Dear Sir : The Oportunity which hands you this, has 
been delayed for a Month waiting a return boat to your 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEENSTON. 89 

place: during all that time we have not had one come this 
way. I was duly favored with yours of 2nd June covering 
the different papers which Mr. Burch and his wife had to 
sign. Fortunately Mr. Richardson from Montreal was here 
at the time and took on himself the whole charge of seeing 
them executed, a Circumstance I was much pleased at, as he 
from his particular acquaintance with this Business, obvi- 
ated some difficulties I should otherwise have been hampered 
with. You will now from Mr. Douglas the Bearer hereof, 
receive all these papers settled I trust to your satisfaction, 
if any thing remains undone I will be gratified on Receiving 
your further Commands. 

Mr. Douglas is a young man who has resided with us 
for some time past, he is now called home to Scotland on 
some family Business. He will be thankful to you for your 
advice in the best mode of getting from Schenectady to Xew 
York, where he has acquaintances. I believe the Rout no 
way difficult but he is rather a Stranger to travelling. 

Mr. Macomb with his large family and his boat which 
we denominated the little Ark, as Containing some thing of 
every thing, passed this and got safe to Detroit in perhaps 
as short a time as that voyage was ever compleated in. He 
found every thing there as he wished, and is now I believe 
settled very much to his satisfaction. The English papers 
which you see, Contain every thing new we have in the 
Country. By these you will observe we are on the point of 
getting a New Constitution, with a separate Government 
for this new Country, which as not involving us in Canadian 
Politicks promises to be of essential use. We have some 
reason to hope that Colonel Simpcoe our proposed Governor 
may come to this Country by the way of your Seaports, au- 
thorized to settle with Congress the doubtfull line of division 
which must be a pleasant thing to both countries. Capt. 
Joseph Brant after having attended for some time the Coun- 
cils of the Western Indians at the Miamis River, sett of a 
few days ago for Quebec, attended with several of the Chiefs 
from that Quarter. As they avowedly go to ask Lord Dor- 
chester's advice and as we well know his and Governments 
strong desire for peace, we would gladly hope that it may 



90 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

be the means of bringing on an Accomodation. Much will 
depend upon the moderation of your side. You have 
strength and power I doubt not to drive them to the last ex- 
tremities — but when you consider that most assuredly their 
next resource will be to accept the strong offers and press- 
ing Instances of the Spaniards to settle on their side, and 
that the only Motive for these offers is to form a barrier be- 
tween you and them, which by restraining your frontier Set- 
tlements, will keep you at a Distance from them, of which 
they are so jealous, — when you consider the present ani- 
mosity of the Indians, agravated by their loss of Lands and 
every thing dear to them, Policy and humanity will perhaps 
dictate an accommodation on Reasonable terms as preferable 
tc the greatest success which may probably entail a cruel 
predatory war on the defenceless settlers of your Western 
boundary, for many years. My wish for peace has led me 
further into the field of Politicks than I had intended. I 
now have clone. 

Inclosed please receive a draft on Messrs. Todd & McGill 
for £20 York for four bills of 100/ each received by Mr. 
Macomb from your Mr. Pollard, due 10th Oct. when the 
paper money of this Country is payable. At your Leisure 
will you have the goodness to favor me with a state of the 
little transactions between us, that I may make our books 
correspond with yours. I have to thank you for your kind 
Acceptance of my drafts in favor of Mr. Nellis. 
With Sincere Respect I remain 

Dear Sir Your most Obedient and very humble Servt 

R. Hamilton. 
John Porteous, Esq. 

This letter gives expression to the feeling which was 
common at this time among the better class of British traders 
at the western posts. Aside from such high motives as we 
may well believe influenced a man of Mr. Hamilton's char- 
acter, those of self-interest led the fur traders to deprecate 
a continuance of hostilities between the Americans and the 
Indians. It was simply ruinous to their trade. The home 
Government also wanted peace. So long as they could man- 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEEN ST ON. 91 

age to retain the posts, His Majesty's ministers were earnest 
in their desire not only to maintain a strict neutrality, but to 
do all within their power to terminate hostilities. And yet 
there was much smouldering bitterness of feeling which 
was but poorly concealed. Three months after this letter 
was written St. Clair met his crushing defeat by the Indians 
at the Wabash and Captain Patrick Campbell, whose visit 
to Fort Xiagara was in the following month, December, 
1791, tells of the jubilation with which the officers of that 
garrison received the news. 

Throughout the two succeeding years such feelings of 
hostility as existed were for the most part suppressed or at 
least were passive, but conditions changed very greatly with 
the news of war between Great Britain and France in 1793. 
British impressment of American seamen and British em- 
bargoes upon American commerce aroused much resent- 
ment ; the arrival and ill-advised conduct of Genet was the 
cause of much irritation, and by the spring of 1794 the re- 
lations between Great Britain and America had become seri- 
ously strained, a state of affairs which was unfortunately 
reflected in the imprudent action of Lord Dorchester, the 
Canadian Governor, who, in an address to the Indians, Feb- 
ruary 10th, expressed his belief that war would be declared 
within the year and added, ''our patience is almost ex- 
hausted. " In April Lieutenant Governor Simcoe went so 
far as to build and garrison a fort in the heart of the Miami 
country to the great encouragement of the hostile tribes and 
to the great disgust of General Wayne, who found the 
British rangers fighting with the Indians at the Fallen Tim- 
bers, August 20, 1794, when he routed both so effectually as 
to put a stop once for all to Indian hostilities and to bring a 
lasting peace to the border. It is interesting at such a time 
to note the attitude of Mr. Hamilton, who was then one of 
the Legislative Council and evidently not in sympathy with 
Governor Simcoe. 

Dear Sir: I have received several of your late favors 
which my present time will not permitt me to Reply. I, 
however, with von most sincerely deprecate a war between 



92 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

Britain and America as an Event that both parties must 
most essential lose by, and neither so far as I can judge have 
the least chance of Gain. 

I remain most Respectfully, Dear Sir, 

Your most hum. Servt. 

R. Hamilton. 
Oueenston, May 28th, 1794. 

On the 26th of August, 1794, he again writes : "Our 
crops are now all in and we have great plenty most earnestly 
praying for its concomitant Blessing Peace." 

A fortnight later (September 6, 1794,) he writes: "I 
sincerely hope with you that all chance of warr between these 
Neighboring Countries is now at an End. In that case I 
have some hopes of paying you a Visit this ensuing winter 
on my way to England. " 

Fortunately his hopes were realized. Wayne had con- 
quered peace for the borders and the successful negotiations 
of Jay in England in that year resulted in the treaty with 
Great Britain which bears his name. The numerous letters 
which Air. Hamilton had written during 1792 and 1793 re- 
ferred, in the main, to transactions of business or courtesy; 
the passing eastward of friends who were commended to his 
correspondent's kind offices ; the non-arrival of Indian 
messengers who had proven untrustworthy, etc. Prior to 
the autumn of 1792 they are dated at ''Landing of Ni- 
agara/' but in November the name of Queenston is first used 
and the letter is of interest as showing how isolated the Ni- 
agara frontier was a century ago and how slowly the news 
of the great world reached it. 

Landing — now Queenston, Nov. 26, 1792. 
Dear Sir: I am favored with yours of 31st ulto. and 
thank you for the news papers sent. The present very un- 
settled state of Europe makes [us] wait with much Anxiety 
for Accounts from home and as the communication by the 
Lower Province is very tedious as well as uncertain we are 
projecting with the profered aid of a Capt. Williamson of 
the Genesee Country to establish thro that place a Post once 
a Fortnight to New York-. In the Event of this taking place 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEENSTON. 93 

I have directed a New York paper to be regularly sent me 
and I purpose getting a London paper now sent to Quebec 
transferred to this Rout. Will you have the Goodness to 
inform me if the post passes your place and of the Expence 
that will attend the postage of a paper from New York to 
your place, and to the Genesee. If it would afford the small- 
est amusement to you I would most willingly direct the Lon- 
don paper to be addressed to your Care. 

Accept my best thanks for your attention to the Mill 
stones ordered from Schenectady. Their Amount with the 
charges on them shall be remitted by the earliest oportunity 
after receiving the Account. 

W T ith much respect I remain, 

Dear Sir, your very Humble Servt, 

R. Hamilton. 

Besides his store at Little Falls, John Porteous had built a 
custom mill for Mohawk Valley trade and might very safely 
be entrusted with the purchase of the pair of Esopus mill- 
stones "four feet four in diameter" which Air. Hamilton 
had ordered for "a neighbor,'' and also with the further 
commission of February 5, 1793, "I will thank you for pro- 
curing for me a Boulting Cloth of the best Quality for do- 
ing Country work. To you as a Brother Miller I nead not 
be more particular in my directions. I wish it by the earliest 
boat." 

In a letter of January 27, 1794, he writes: "Will you 
have the goodness to inform me what you know of the prop- 
erty in Land or otherwise belonging to the children of the 
late Sir Wrii. Johnson by Alary Brant, particularly of that 
portion pertaining to the eldest daughter, Elizabeth, late the 
wife of Robert Kerr. I am sorry to inform you that the 
poor woman died some days ago in childbed." 

This refers to Dr. Robert Kerr, who had been a surgeon 
in the British army and now resided near Niagara. His own 
letters preserved with these, show that in 1795 he made Air. 
Porteous his attorney to sell the Mohawk river lands and 
those in the Royal Grant which his wife had inherited from 
her distinguished father. 



94 ROBERT HAMILTON, 

The flourishing fruit orchards of the lower Niagara had 
their beginning about this time, for March 9, 1794, Mr. 
Hamilton wrote: "I have this day sent a small sum of 
money to our friend, Mr. Alexander Macomb of New York 
to be laid out in Fruit trees from the nursery of Mr. Prince 
on Long Island on account of a Society established here for 
the purpose of promoting Agriculture. I have taken the 
liberty to desire these to be addressed to your care in Sche- 
nectady. Will you have the goodness to direct Air. Miller 
oblidgingly to forward these if possible by the very first 
boat that may come to this place, as it is of much conse- 
quence to have them here early in the season/' 

Under the operation of Jay's treaty Fort Niagara was 
finally delivered over to the United States August 11, 1796, 
but the only effect of this long anticipated and long post- 
poned event which appears in Air. Hamilton's letters is a 
reference to a claim against Philip Stedman sent him for 
collection, concerning which he says that Stedman is now a 
resident of the United States and difficult to reach by pro- 
cesses of law. The letters from this time onward deal mostly 
with personal affairs, though they contain frequent men- 
tion of familiar names. His kinsfolk and associates, William 
and Thomas Dickson, are commended to his correspondent's 
kind offices. Judge Powell carries a letter of introduction 
referring to those civilities "which you so kindly show to 
every body from this Ouarte r .'' At another time he says : 
"Our Chief Justice, Mr. Ellensley, has mentioned more than 
once his sense of your Kindness while they were detained 
at the Little Falls.'' The boats that go down to Schenectady 
must come back well laden, and scythes and axes, woolen 
checks and tea, nankeens and casks of nails, indigo, candles 
and French brandy snuggle together cheek by jowl when the 
bateaux return and doubtless both of the thrifty Scotchmen 
profit thereby. 

It is certainly in a spirit of thankfulness that Robert 
Hamilton closes his letter of Sept. 5, 1798, "Having nothing 
new to offer from this remote corner, where however, thank- 
God, we enjoy more peace and as much plenty as falls to the 
Lett of most of our Brethren of Mankind, I conclude," etc. 



THE FOUNDER OF QUEENSTON. 95 

A few months later, in March, 1799, John Porteous died, 
and although Robert Hamilton survived him for a decade, it 
was perhaps fortunate that he did not live to see within four 
short years his dreams of peace rudely shattered, contending 
armies in bloody strife at his very door, his own home de- 
stroyed and the beautiful Niagara border, the region that he 
loved, devastated by the stern vicissitudes of relentless war. 




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V. 

OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 



AND 



ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 



I. The Keepers of the Door. 

Three centuries ago, when the first pioneers of European 
emigration crossed the ocean to plant their homes in the New 
World, they found within the borders of what we now call 
the Empire State an extraordinary confederacy whose he- 
reditary seats stretched from the Hudson to the Genesee. 
Here the "Five Nations," joined together in a federated gov- 
ernment (the ancient League of the Iroquois), held an abso- 
lute and undisputed sway ; their League remarkable alike for 
its ties of organization and the wisdom of its unwritten laws, 
as weir as for the sagacity which marked their administra- 
tion. 

Proud and ambitious masters of the art of conquest, the 
strong arm of the League was felt far and near as their war 
parties fell upon other, ofttimes distant, tribes and, with the 
lust of empire, compelled them to subservience. In 1535, 
when Jacques Cartier first sailed up the St. Lawrence, their 
ancient enemies at the North had been driven down the 
river as far as Quebec. In 1607 Captain John Smith saw 
them on the upper waters of the Chesapeake sweeping down 
upon the tribes of Powhattan. Far westward upon the Mis- 
sissippi the Spanish explorers met their warriors, and in 1609 



98 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

Champlain encountered them as he passed up the lake which 
now bears his name. 

The Dutch, with prudent forethought, made friendship 
with them when establishing the first trading post at Fort 
Orange (now Albany) in 1615, and when the Dutch rule 
yielded to that of England a half century later, this friend- 
ship was wisely fostered by the British, who made the Iro- 
quois their allies in that long-continued struggle for the su- 
premacy of a great continent. 

They called themselves the Ho-de'-no-sau-nee, the "Peo- 
ple of the Long House," likening their confederacy to the 
form of their bark dwellings, which were often extended to a 
length sufficient for ten or even twenty families. Its easterly 
wardens were the Mohawks at the Hudson, while to the 
westward burned in succession the council fires of the Onei- 
das, the Onondagas, the Cayugas and last of all that of the 
Senecas, the Ho-nan-ne-ho'-ont, the hereditary "Keepers of 
the door" of the Long House.* 

With the Onondagas burned the central fire of the 
League, and there its general councils were held, when the 
assembled sachems from all the nations discussed with elo- 
quence and grave dignity affairs of common interest, guard- 
ing each canton with jealous care against neighborly aggres- 
sion, preserving for each its undisputed right of local self- 
government and by wise counsels securing for all, harmony 
of purpose for the welfare of the League and united action 
for its protection. 

Of these Five Nations the Senecas were the most power- 
ful and warlike, as they were the most numerous. By 165 1 
they had conquered the Kah-Kwas or Neutral Nation, who 
had occupied the territory between the Genesee and the Ni- 
agara Rivers, and within five years thereafter had extermi- 
nated the Eries, who dwelt still further to the West and 
South. 

At this time their four principal castles or palisaded vil- 
lages were To-ti-ac-ton, on the Honeoye outlet, near the pres- 

*The Tuscaroras, who came in 1715 as refugees from the South, were at 
that time admitted to the League which was afterward known to the British as 
"the Six Nations." 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 99 

ent site of Honeoye Falls ; Gan-da-chi-o-ra-gou, near Lima, 
ten miles to the eastward ; Gan-da-ga-ro, in the township of 
Victor ; and Gan-dou-ga-rae, in that of East Bloomfield. In 
these "castles" the intrepid Jesuit fathers established their 
missions as early as 1656. 

In 1687 all of these villages were destroyed by the French 
Governor, the Marquis de Denonville, and were abandoned 
by the Senecas, who gradually drifted southward and west- 
ward, finally establishing their homes in what they called the 
Gen-nis-he'-o, the "beautiful valley" of the river w r hich we 
still know by their melodious name. 

Here and there along its borders for nearly a hundred 
miles their villages multiplied and prospered. They were 
tillers of the soil as well as hunters, and summer after sum- 
mer in these fertile meadows their corn fields blossomed, and 
autumn after autumn brought its plentiful harvests of maize 
and beans and pumpkins to be stored for winter's needs. 
Hiding in the sparkling brooks and the river riffles w r ere 
abundant supplies of fish which they captured with their rude 
hooks and spears. From the great forests on either hand the 
timid deer came down to drink of those clear waters and 
their somber woodland depths teemed with game to be had 
for the seeking. 

Here they planted their orchards and gathered the wild 
grapes which fringed their wooded borders, and here, in the 
midst of their rich fields, they built their long lodges of logs 
and bark, which in the larger and more important towns 
were clustered about a central council house. Around its 
lighted fire the fathers of the people, old sachems and painted 
chiefs, gathered for grave and eloquent deliberation. Within 
its rude walls at the stated seasons, they met for those cere- 
monial festivals peculiar to their worship by which they 
marked the changes of the year ; invoking the Great Spirit 
at springtime to bless the planting of their seed ; rendering 
up thanksgiving for the berries of the fields, the fresh green 
corn or the ripened harvest, or ushering in each returning 
year with their supreme act of piety and devotion, the sacri- 
fice of the white dog, their faithful messenger, whose spirit 
should carry their words of thanks and praise with their 



100 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

humble petitions to the listening ear of the great Master of 
Life. 

Here, too, as the years multiplied and generation after 
generation passed away, the graves of their fathers gave to 
their beautiful valley the hallowed associations of memory 
and filial love. It was to them their home, a veritable Garden 
of Eden, which they loved with an abiding affection that still 
lingers in the hearts of their scattered descendants, and like 
the dwellers in Eden of old, they were driven from it by the 
flaming sword. 

They had been faithful brothers to the British, and when 
the war of the American Revolution began, although the 
counsels of the Ho-de'-no-sau-nee were no longer united, and 
the Oneidas as well as a portion of the Tuscaroras remained 
neutral, the Senecas took the warpath with their allies and 
fought with their savage instincts of ferocity. 

From Cherry Creek, from Wyoming, and from scores of 
border settlements to which had come the war-whoop and the 
scalping-knife, went up the cry of desolation. In August, 
1779, General Sullivan with an army of 5,000 men w r as sent 
by Washington on his avenging errand. The retribution 
was, as had been intended, swift and sure and fatal. The 
beautiful valley of the Genesee was swept with the besom of 
destruction and town after town of the Senecas was burned 
to the ground, their crops and stores of grain destroyed, their 
orchards of peach and apple and pear trees cut down, until 
the smiling land had become a scene of almost total devasta- 
tion. From the ruin of their homes the dwellers fled in a 
confused and panic-stricken rout to the protection of the 
British at Fort Niagara ; and when the war had ceased and 
the days of peace once more returned, only a remnant of the 
people came back to rebuild a few of their villages along the 
Genesee. 

In these they lingered for half a century more, while the 
tides of immigration, attracted by the tales of wondrous fer- 
tility which were told by the soldiers of Sullivan's raid, swept 
around and beyond them ; holding the small reservations 
which they had retained when they sold their wide domain at 
the Big Tree Treaty of 1797, until in 1826 they parted with 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 101 

these also, and turning their faces westward to Buffalo Creek 
and to the lands which they still hold along the Tonawanda, 
the Cattaraugus and the Allegheny, the last of the "keepers 
of the door" departed and the beautiful valley of their 
fathers knew them no more. 

To this fair land, which had been their earthly paradise, 
the bringers of civilization came ; and where their rude vil- 
lages once stood are now populous towns and pleasant vil- 
lages, centers of traffic for the rich farming communities that 
thrive upon the fertile fields which they first tilled. To their 
primitive arts have succeeded those of a more complex life 
and only here and there in hill or valley, in glen or water-fall 
there lingers some musical name that whispers of the past 
and breathes in its melody some accent that suggests those 
long-forgotten days and "the pathos of a vanished folk." 



II. The Old Council House. 

Leaving Can-a-wau-gus, opposite Avon Springs, the 
northernmost of the river towns, the ancient Seneca trail, fol- 
lowing the river southward, led from village to village, until 
at Squakie Hill, near Alt. Morris, it reached Da-yo-it-ga-o 
("Where the river issues from the hills"). Thence it passed 
through the Gardeau flats, the home until 1 83 1 of the famous 
white captive, Alary Jemison, known to history as "the White 
Woman of the Genesee" ; and approached the canon through 
which for many miles the river has cut its way before it 
emerges into the bright sunlight of the open valley. 

It is a wild and picturesque region. From the mighty 
rock-hewn walls one may look 700 feet down the precipitous 
cliffs to the somber depths wherein the river winds its way 
beneath. At the lower falls, where the old trail left the river 
bed and climbed its banks for the great portage that has 
given its name to the whole' region, the river pours in a re- 
sistless torrent through its narrow flume of rock to the 
treacherous calm of the deep whirlpool far below. Now fol- 
lowing the eastern ridge, the trail looked down upon that 
charmed region about the middle falls, rich in legendary 



102 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

story and song, with its shaded meadows and sunlit plateaus, 
its sparkling brooks that leap the cliffs to join the river; 
richest of all in these latter days in that beautiful home which 
looks from its open friendly doors upon the fretted lace- 
work that the river weaves in fleecy whiteness as it plunges 
downward for a hundred feet and sends up clouds of spray to 
gather in the sunlight the rainbow hues that give its name to 
far-famed Glen Iris. 

Traces may still be found of the old trail as it wound its 
way around the upper falls, the river's first great leap at the 
entrance to the gorge, and crossing the clear, still reaches 
above, passed on for several miles to Caneadea, an open syl- 
van glade through which the river ran, shut in on either side 
by the dense forests and in front by the open sky, where 
nestled Ga-6-ya-de-o ("Where the Heavens rest upon the 
earth"), the last Seneca "castle" on the Genesee. 

It was an ancient village on the very threshold of the 
Long House, so far distant from the lower river towns and 
so protected by Nature's almost impenetrable barriers below, 
that it escaped the vengeance of Sullivan's army which had 
turned northward from Da-yo-it-ga-o. 

Its twenty or thirty houses stood somewhat back from a 
high bank that overlooked the stream, and its central feature 
was the old Caneadea Council House, so fortunately still pre- 
served to tell its story of a far-off past. This was built of 
well-hewn logs, a foot or more in thickness, neatly dove- 
tailed at the corners, their crevices packed with moss plas- 
tered in with clay. In length it measured about fifty feet, by 
twenty feet in width, and was roofed with "shakes" or large 
split shingles held in place by long poles fastened at the ends 
with withes, an opening being left in the center of the roof 
through which the smoke of the council fire might make its 
escape. Its eaves were low and at one end was built a rude 
stone fireplace with three large flat hearth stones taken from 
the river bed, covering a space ten feet square. There was 
a door on either side. 

Its age we do not know, but Indian traditions ascribe to it 
a venerable antiquity and it is believed to long antedate the 
American Revolution. Upon the inner surface of one of the 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 103 

legs the sign of the cross is deeply carved and another bears 
the rudely cut totem of the Snipe clan. 

About it cluster thickly the memories of long ago ; upon 
its earth floor has been lighted many a famous council fire, 
and its walls, smoke-begrimed and dark with age, have list- 
ened to the glowing words of many a red-skinned orator 
whose eloquence fired his people to action or perchance 
calmed the heated passion of debate. 

From this last of the Seneca villages went out the great 
war parties of the Iroquois that followed the Ohio trail to 
the great river of the Southwest. Here, too, they gathered 
for the border forays that carried terror to the Pennsyl- 
vania frontiers ; and here the returning warriors brought 
their captives to run the gauntlet, to their death it may be, 
or in rare cases to escape their torturers and to find refuge 
and safety within the walls of their desperate goal, this an- 
cient council house. 

Here, with their scarcely less savage allies, it is believed 
they gathered as the rallying point before the massacre of 
Wyoming ; and in those ruthless days the old council house 
had doubtless heard the crafty but not inhumane counsels of 
Thay-en-da-na-ge-a, the great Mohawk chief whom we 
know as Joseph Brant, the silver tongue of that most famous 
of Indian orators, Red Jacket, the wise and compelling ut- 
terance of Cornplanter and the speech of Hudson and Young 
King and Pollard, Little Beard and Tallchief and Halftown 
and many beside whose very names are now but dim tradi- 
tions, but who wrought their part and were loved or feared, 
as the case might be, by their people and by those who knew 
their power a century or more ago. 

Of all the many captives of those bloody years, who ran 
the gauntlet at Caneadea, — and who may now tell their num- 
ber! — no story is so well-remembered and so oft-repeated as 
that of Moses Van Campen, that famous old Indian fighter 
and pioneer, the hero of so many fireside tales of thrilling 
border warfare: a Jersey lad, born in 1757, but living in 
Pennsylvania and in the strength of early manhood when the 
war of the Revolution began. Pie was a man of mighty 
prowess and daring, unacquainted with fear, and had made 



104 OLD CANE ADR A COUNCIL HOUSE 

his strong arm felt in many a fierce encounter with the 
painted redskins in the northern wilderness of the Pennsyl- 
vania frontier. 

Once before he had been captured by an Indian war party 
and had made his escape after a deadly struggle in which he 
had slain five of his captors with his own hand and with a 
tomahawk which he had wrested from their leader, John 
Mohawk. In March, 1782, he was a lieutenant of the Penn- 
sylvania line in the Continental Army, commanding a com- 
pany ordered to rebuild a fort at Muncey in Northumber- 
land Co., Pa., which had been destroyed by the Indians in 
1779. 

While on a scouting expedition with a small force up the 
west branch of the Susquehanna he was surprised by a war 
party of Senecas led by Lieutenant Nellis of Butler's Ran- 
gers in the British service, and after most of his soldiers had 
been killed or disabled, Van Campen surrendered and was 
carried captive to Caneadea. Fortunately he had not been 
recognized or his life would not have been spared. 

As they approached the village with echoing war-whoops, 
old and young came to meet the victorious warriors and 
preparations for the savage ordeal of running the gauntlet 
were speedily made. At a distance of thirty or forty rods 
stood the council house with its open doors and on either side 
of the running course thereto were lines of men and women 
armed with hatchets, knives and sticks with which to strike 
the victim as he ran. There was but slight chance of escape, 
but as the word came and the captives dashed forward, Van 
Campen followed and dexterously avoided the many blows 
aimed at him until he saw directly in his path two young 
squaws with uplifted whips who blocked the way. With 
quick thought he gave an unexpected leap into the air, strik- 
ing both squaws with his feet and sending both to the 
ground. He fell with them, but before they or the warriors 
around could recover from their astonishment, he quickly 
picked himself up and reached the council house unharmed. 
His life was saved, and having been taken thence to Fort 
Niagara and finally to Montreal and New York, he was re- 
leased on parole before the end of the year. 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 105 

A gentler association is that which the old council house 
holds with the memory of the white captive, Mary Jemison, 
"Deh-he-wa-mis," for here in the autumn of 1760, that 
weary-footed traveler (whose life of scarce eighteen years 
had already seen such strange vicissitudes, adopted by her 
captors five years before and married by their wish to an 
Indian husband), rested with her adoptive brothers, who 
accompanied her on her long and toilsome journey of nearly 
600 miles through an almost pathless wilderness, from the 
lower Ohio to the Genesee country. 

Through all the fatigues and sufferings of those weary 
miles, thinly clad, without protection from the drenching 
rains, sleeping at night upon the naked ground, unsheltered 
and with no covering but her wet blanket, the poor little 
child-wife and mother — for she was small and delicate — had 
carried her infant child upon her back or sheltered him 
within her arms. It sometimes seemed to her, she said, as if 
the utmost of endurance had been reached, but after resting 
here she journeyed on to Little Beard's town. The Senecas 
of the beautiful valley became her people, their country her 
home, and for more than seventy years the ''White Woman 
of the Genesee" lived among them through many sorrows 
and many joys until, in that strange fellowship of her 
adopted kin whom she steadfastly refused to leave, her 
earthly days were ended. 

By w r hose hand was carved the deeply cut symbol of the 
Christian faith within those ancient walls we may not know. 
Its presence would seem to show that in their time they have 
heard gentle teachings from lips that have told those husky 
hearers of long ago of the God of Revelation, of Christ the 
Saviour, of a gospel of love and peace and in their own 
tongue perhaps made known to them the story of the 
Cross. Could the old council house but speak of all that it 
has seen, how filled with riches would be the record of its 
years ! 

But times change, and we change with them. The years 
swept by and the changes of another century than its own 
crept slowly around the council house. Little by little its old- 
time friends passed away, and when in 1826 the Senecas sold 



106 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

the last of their Genesee Valley lands they parted with 
Caneadea and soon the old council house was left alone and 
deserted. 

Shortly thereafter Joel Seaton, who had purchased the 
land where it stood, moved it to a new position near the 
roadside some thirty or forty rods eastward from its old site 
and used it as a dwelling, making no changes in it, however, 
except to put on a new roof and to add three or four logs to 
its height, as was readily to be seen. Slowly it began to de- 
cay ; it ceased to be used as a dwelling ; neglected and for- 
lorn it stood by the roadside, marked only by the curious 
gaze of the passer-by, until when it was about to be de- 
stroyed, shortly after 1870, it came to the notice of Hon. 
William Pryor Letchworth of Glen Iris, whose deep interest 
in the historic associations of the Genesee Valley led him to 
take prompt measures for its rescue and preservation. 

With painstaking care he caused each timber to be marked 
when taken down, so that it might be replaced where it be- 
longed, and effected its removal without injury, to the beau- 
tiful plateau overlooking the river and valley at Glen Iris, 
where it now stands. There it was carefully reerected in 
precisely the position and the form in which it originally 
stood, even to the roof of shakes with withe-bound poles and 
its own old fireplace with the original hearth-stones as in 
days of yore ; the retting timbers were repaired where this 
was necessary for its preservation and when all was com- 
pleted and the venerable structure stood as of old time, the 
scattered children of those who had been most famous in the 
history of the Seneca occupation of the Genesee Valley were 
bidden to the memorable council of October 1, 1872. It was 
a strange and impressive occasion to those who gathered to 
hold a council of their people after the lapse of half a cen- 
tury, in the very house where generation after generation of 
those that slept had gathered before ; to them it brought un- 
told memories of pathos and regret. Doubly strange and 
impressive was it to the fortunate guests of another race who 
came at the wish of the Guardian of the Valley to witness 
such an unwonted sight ; it dwells within their hearts in un- 
fading recollection. 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 107 

III. The Last Council Fire.* 

The morning of that perfect day in the beautiful month of 
falling leaves dawned brightly ; early frost had tinged the 
forests and loosened the leaves that dropped softly in the 
mellow sunlight. Some of the invited guests had come on 
the previous day and when. the morning train arrived from 
Buffalo the old King George cannon on the upper plateau 
thundered its welcome, as once it was wont to wake the 
echoes from the fortress of Quebec, and all climbed the hill 
to the spot where the ancient council house stood with open 
doors to receive them. They were the lookers-on who found 
their places at one end of the council hall where rustic seats 
awaited them, save that in a suitable and more dignified chair 
was seated a former President of the Republic, Hon. Millard 
Fillmore of Buffalo, whose gracious and kindly presence — 
that of a snowy-haired gentleman of the old school — honored 
the occasion. 

The holders of the council were "robed and ready." Upon 
the clay floor in the center of the building burned the bright 
council fire, and as the blue smoke curled upward it found 
its way through the opening in the roof to mingle with the 
haze of the October day. 

Upon low benches around the fire sat the red-skinned 
children of the Ho-de'-no-sau-nee who had gathered from 
the Cattaraugus and the Allegheny and from the Grand 
River in Canada as well ; for on that day, for the first time 
in more than seventy years, the Mohawks sat in council with 
the Senecas. They were for the most part clad in such cos- 
tumes as their fathers wore in the olden days, and many of 
the buckskin garments, bright sashes and great necklaces of 
silver or bone and beads, were heirlooms of the past, as were 
the ancient tomahawk pipes which were gravely smoked 
while their owners sat in rapt and decorous attention as one 
after another their orators addressed them. No sight could 

"For Mr. Gray's beautiful poem, read at the close of the council, and for 
the translated Seneca speeches, I am indebted to "The last Indian Council on 
the Genesee," by David Gray, in Scribncr's Magazine for July, i S77. With 
these exceptions this account is written from notes made by myself at the time 
of the council.— H. R. H. 



108 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

be more picturesque than was that combination of bright col- 
ors and nodding plumes, the drifting smoke of the council 
fire, and, most of all, the strong faces of the score or more of 
councillors, the appointed representatives of their people, to 
speak for them that day. 

They had been wisely chosen, for they were the grand- 
children of renowned men and almost all bore the names of 
those who had been the recognized leaders of their nation in 
council and in war. As might well be expected, the person- 
ality of each was striking and noteworthy. 

A commanding presence, that gave an especial interest to 
the occasion, was that of Col. W. J. Simcoe Kerr, "Te-ka-re- 
ho-ge-a," the grandson of the famous ..^ohawk chief, Captain 
Brant, whose youngest daughter, Elizabeth, had married 
Colonel Walter Butler Kerr, a grandson of Sir William 
Johnson, the Indian agent for the British Government, whose 
influence had been so potent with the Iroquois in colonial 
days. Colonel Kerr was a man of fine physique, an educated 
gentleman and himself the principal chief of the Mohawks in 
their Canadian home, as well as the acknowledged head of 
all the Indians in Canada. He wore the chieftain's dress in 
which he had been presented to Queen Victoria: a suit of 
soft, dark, smoke-tanned buckskin with deep fringes, a rich 
sash, and a cap of doeskin with long straight plumes from an 
eagle's wing. He carried Brant's tomahawk in his belt. By 
his side sat his accomplished sister, Mrs. Kate Osborne, 
whose Mohawk name was Ke-je-jen-ha-nik. Through her 
gentle-hearted interest in such an unusual event she had 
urged her brother to accept the invitation which had been 
tendered him, but he came with some reluctance, for the 
long-cemented friendship of the great League had been 
Droken. 

When the War of the Revolution had ended, the Mohawks 
left their former seats and followed their British allies to 
Canada, where they still live on the Grand River. The Sen- 
ecas remained in Western Xew York and by the celebrated 
treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1784. became the friends of the 
Americans, a friendship to which they continued steadfast, 
so that when war with Great Britain was again declared in 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 109 

1812, they were our allies, and on its battle-fields, side by 
side with the soldiers of the United States, they fought the 
Mohawks, their ancient friends, who had now become their 
enemies. It could not be forgotten, and even when the Mo- 
hawk chief had been persuaded to attend the council, he 
wore an air of coldness and reserve, because, as he said to 
one of the guests before he tardily took his place, "the Sen- 
ecas are not my people." 

For a short time these children of time-honored sachems 
and chiefs sat and smoked in dignified silence as became so 
grave an occasion, and when the proper moment had arrived, 
as prescribed by the decorum of Indian observance, one of 
their number arose and, following the ceremonial method of 
the ancient custom, announced in formal words and in the 
Seneca tongue, that the council fire had been lighted and that 
the ears of those who were convened in council were now 
opened to listen to what might be said to them. Resuming 
his seat, there was a moment of quiet waiting, as if in expec- 
tation, and then the opening speech was made by Nicholson 
H. Parker, "Ga-yeh-twa-geh," a grand-nephew of Red 
Jacket and a brother of General Ely S. Parker, who served 
with distinction upon General Grant's staff during the Civil 
War. 

Mr. Parker was a tall, well-built man, with a fine clear 
face not unlike that of his distinguished brother, and with 
great dignity of speech and bearing. Around his sleeves 
above the elbows and at the wrists were wide bands of 
beaded embroidery, and besides a long fringed woven belt of 
Lright colors, he wore an ample shoulder scarf that was also 
richly embroidered. His tomahawk pipe was one that had 
belonged to Red Jacket. Mr. Parker was a well educated 
man, had served as United States interpreter with his people 
and was a recognized leader among them. 

All of the speeches made in the council that day, until it 
approached its close, were in the Seneca language, which is 
without labials, very guttural and yet with a music of its 
own, capable of much inflection and by no means monoto- 
nous. Its sentences seemed short and their utterance slow 
and measured, with many evidences of the earnest feeling 



110 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

aroused by the unwonted occasion and its associations with 
the past, and as each speaker in turn touched some respon- 
sive chord in the breasts of his hearers, they responded with 
that deep guttural ejaculation of approval which cannot be 
written in any syllable of English phrasing. 

Many of the orators spoke at great length, and it is un- 
fortunate that the full texts could not be preserved. Such 
portions as we have of three or four of the principal speeches 
were taken down after the council from the lips of the speak- 
ers themselves ; they are, however, but brief epitomes of 
their full orations. Such was the case, for example, in this 
opening speech of Nicholson Parker, who thus addressed the 
council : 

"Brothers : I will first say a few words. We have come 
as representatives of the Seneca nation to participate in the 
ceremonies of the day. In this ancient council-house, before 
its removal to this spot, our fathers, sachems and chiefs, 
often met to deliberate on matters of moment to our people 
in the village of Ga-o-yah-de-o (Caneadea). We are to rake 
over the ashes on its hearth, that we may find perchance a 
single spark with which to rekindle the fire, and cause the 
smoke again to rise above this roof, as in days that are past. 
The smoke is curling upward and the memories of the past 
are enwreathed with it. 

"Brothers : When the confederacy of the Iroquois w r as 
formed, a smoke was raised which ascended so high that all 
the nations saw it and trembled. This league was formed, it 
may be, long before the kingdom of Great Britain had any 
political existence. Our fathers of the Ho-de'-no-sau-nee 
were once a powerful nation. They lorded it over a vast ter- 
ritory, comprising the whole of the State of New York. 
Their power was felt from the Hudson to the banks of the 
Mississippi, and from the great basins of sweet water in the 
North to the bitter waters of the Mexican Gulf. We have 
wasted away to a remnant of what we once were. But, 
though feeble in numbers, the Iroquois are represented here. 
We have delegates from the Mohawks, who were the keepers 
of the eastern door of the long house ; and of the Senecas, 
who were the guardians of the western door. When the big 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. Ill 

guns of General Sullivan were heard in this valley, we were 
one people. But the tribes of the Iroquois are scattered, and 
will soon be seen no more. 

"Brothers : We are holding council, perhaps for the last 
time, in Gen-nis-he'-o. This beautiful territory was once our 
own. The bones of our fathers are strewn thickly under its 
sod. But all this land has gone from their grasp forever. 
The fate and the sorrows of my people should force a sigh 
from the stoutest heart. 

"Brothers : We came here to perform a ceremony, but I 
cannot make it such. My heart says that this is not a play or 
a pageant. It is a solemn reality to me, and not a mockery of 
davs that are past and can never return. Neh-hoh — this 
is all." 

As he took his seat, the repeated monosyllabic utterance 
of his hearers showed that he had spoken well and had 
opened and smoothed the way for those who should follow. 
All were eager to say what was in their hearts, but there was 
a quiet dignity in their procedure which might well be copied 
by Angdo-Saxon conclaves. There was no presiding member 
in the sense in which we know the term. It was the office 
and apparently the duty of Nicholson Parker to open and to 
close the council, and in all formal procedures, as in the com- 
mon habit of their life and speech, the Indian shows a respect 
and reverence for age which is worthy of high praise. 

When each orator had spoken, there was a short pause of 
silence, a little smoking of pipes as if in seemly expectation, 
and then another orator rose quietly in his place and with 
gentle manner and low speech and with occasional graceful 
gesticulations that pointed his statements, sometimes hold- 
ing his tomahawk pipe in his hand and using it to excellent 
effect in his gestures (for Nature made the red man an ora- 
tor,) he addressed his listening brothers. Nearly all of the 
men in council spoke during its session, some at length, some 
more briefly, as the message chanced to be. The thought of 
their fathers was uppermost in their minds and the deeds of 
their fathers in the old days was the burden of their utter- 
ance. 

That great orator of the Senecas, Red Jacket, "Sa-go-ye- 



112 OLD CAN BADE A COUNCIL HOUSE 

wat-ha" ("He keeps them awake") was represented at this 
council not only by Nicholson Parker, who made the opening 
speech, but also by his grandson, John Jacket, "Sho-gyo-a- 
ja-ach," an elderly man and a full-blooded Seneca, as his 
strong, dark face betokened, with feathered head-dress and 
broad-beaded shoulder sash, who was one of the later speak- 
ers. He died in 190 1 on the Cattaraugus reservation. 

Beside him at the council fire sat George Jones, "Ga-o-do- 
wa-neh," in all the glory of full Indian costume with waving 
plumes and beaded leggings, bright shoulder sash and belt 
girding his light hunting shirt ; the grandson of "Tommy 
Jemmy," who was tried for murder in 1821, for putting to 
death an aged beldam whom his people had found guilty of 
witchcraft and according to their custom had sentenced to 
death. His acquittal undoubtedly resulted . from the efforts 
of Red Jacket, who appeared as his advocate at the trial, 
where he thundered his famous phillipic against those who 
accused his people of superstition. "What !" said he, "do 
you denounce us as fools and bigots because we still believe 
that which you yourselves believed two centuries ago? Your 
black-coats thundered this doctrine from the pulpit, your 
judges pronounced it from the bench and sanctioned it with 
the formalities of law ; and you would now punish our un- 
fortunate brother for adhering to the faith of his fathers and 
of yours. Go to Salem ! Look at the records of your own 
Government, and you will find that hundreds have been exe- 
cuted for the crime which has called forth the sentence of 
condemnation against this woman and drawn down upon her 
the arm of vengeance. What have our brothers done more 
than the rulers of your people? And what crime has; this 
man committed, by executing, in a summary way, the laws of 
his country, and the command of the Great Spirit ?" It was 
a fitting and noteworthy circumstance that the grandsons of 
Red Jacket and Tommy Jemmy should sit side by side at the 
Glen Iris council-fire. 

Two grandsons of Deh-he-wa-mis, the famous "White 
Woman," sat in the council that day. One, known as "Doc- 
tor" James Shongo, "Ha-go-go-ant," from the Allegheny 
reservation, a stalwart man of fifty-three years, was the 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 113 

youngest son among her daughter Polly's five children. His 
father, George Shongo, was the son of that "Colonel" 
Shongo who was in Revolutionary times a prominent chief of 
the Senecas at Caneadea ; a man of commanding stature and 
mighty voice, a fierce warrior, who is believed by some to 
have led the Senecas at the Wyoming massacre. James 
Shongo was a lad eleven years old when his grandmother, 
the "White Woman,'' removed from her old home at Gar- 
deau to Buffalo in the spring of 183 1 ; and when he spoke 
he told the story of that journey in which he walked all the 
way, a foot-sore boy, who helped to drive the cattle and to 
minister in his small way to the wants of his mother and of 
his aged, feeble, grand-dame. 

The other grandson was Thomas Jemison, "Shoh-son-do- 
want," old "Buffalo Tom," as he was familiarly called ; an 
old man, esteemed by all who knew him and respected as one 
of the worthiest of men. He was the firstborn grandchild of 
the "White Woman," born at Squakie Hill, and was the son 
of the little babe whom she carried on her back in that weary 
journey from the Ohio to the Genesee. All the virtues of his 
gentle grandmother had found place in his character and had 
made him throughout his long life an example to his people 
of industry, truthfulness and thrift. Of stalwart frame, 
more than six feet in height, with broad, manly shoulders, 
only his earnest, wrinkled face and snowy hair told of his 
nearly eighty years when he arose to address the council. In 
part his words were these : 

"Brothers : I am an old man, and well remember when 
our people lived in this valley. I was born in a wigwam on 
the banks of this river. I well remember my grandmother, 
'The White Woman,' of whom you have all heard. I remem- 
ber when our people were rich in lands and respected by the 
whites. Our fathers knew not the value of these lands, and 
parted with them for a trifle. The craft of the white man 
prevailed over their ignorance and simplicity. We have lost 
a rich inheritance ; but it is vain to regret the past. Let us 
make the most of what little is left to us. 

"The last speaker spoke of the former power of our peo- 
ple. They used to live in long bark houses, divided into dif- 



114 OLD CAN BADE A COUNCIL HOUSE 

ferent compartments, and giving shelter often to five or six 
families. These families were frequently connected by ties 
of blood. When the coniederacy was formed, which the 
French called the Iroquois and the English the Five Nations, 
our New York Indians called themselves Ho-de-no-sau-nee, 
or People of the Long House. It was the duty of the Mo- 
hawks to guard the eastern door against the approach of 
enemies, and the Senecas were to guard the west. The prin- 
cipal sachem of the "Senecas is entitled Don-c-ho-ga-wa, the 
door-keeper. Between these two nations sat the Oneidas, 
Onondagas and Cayugas, making the Five Nations. After 
their expulsion from North Carolina, our brothers, the Tus- 
caroras knocked at the door of the Long House and we gave 
them shelter. We adopted them as one of our family and 
thenceforward were known as the Six Nations. 

"I regret that our fathers should have given away their 
country, acre by acre, and left us in our present state, but 
they did it in their ignorance. They knew not the value of 
the soil, and little imagined that the white people would 
cover the land as thickly as the trees from ocean to ocean. 

''Brothers : These are painful thoughts. It is painful to 
think that in the course of two generations there will not be 
an Iroquois of unmixed blood within the bounds of our 
State ; that our race is doomed, and that our language and 
history will soon perish from the thoughts of men. But it 
is the will of the Great Spirit and doubtless it is well." 

Among those of noteworthy parentage who took part in 
the council were William and Jesse Tallchief , "Sha-wa-o-nee- 
gah," whose grandfather, "Tall Chief,'' lived at Murray Hill 
near Mt. Morris, and was well known to the early pioneers. 
He is remembered as a wise counsellor of his nation and had 
in his day dined with Washington and smoked the pipe of 
peace with the great President. 

Another, William Blacksnake, "Sho-noh-go-waah," was 
a srrand?on of old ''Governor*' Blacksnake, whose title was 
bestowed upon him by the father of our country. More than 
any other of the Senecas did Governor Blacksnake's length 
of days link us with the past, for he lived until 1859 and 
reached the great age of 1 17 years. He was a boy of thirteen 






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SOLOMON O'BAIL, 

Son or Major O'Bail and Grandson of the Famous Chief John O Bail. Cthef 
wise Known as Cornplanter. 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 115 

at the capture of Fort Duquesne, which he remembered well. 
With others who were also present were Maris B. Pierce, 
"Ha-dya-no-doh," a man of tine address and education, in 
his early years a graduate of Dartmouth College ; and John 
Shanks, "Xoh-Sahl," an aged man who spoke the first words 
of formal announcement; whose memory ran back to the 
time when he as a boy had lived with his people on the 
Caneadea Reservation before the title to its 10,000 acres had 
passed away from their hands. 

Most picturesque of all who lingered around that dying 
council fire was the figure of old Solomon O'Bail, "Ho-way- 
no-ah," the grandson of that wisest of Seneca chiefs, John 
O'Bail, "Ga-yant-hwah-geh," better known as "Corn- 
planter." His strong, rugged face, deeply seamed with the 
furrows of advancing age, was typical of his race and of his 
ancestry and was expressive of a remarkable character. His 
dress was of smoke-tanned buckskin with side fringes and all 
a-down his leggings were fastened little hawk-bells, which 
tinkled as he walked. Shoulder sash and belt were embroid- 
ered with old-time bead work and around his arm above the 
elbows were broad bands or armlets of silver. From his ears 
hung large silver pendants and, strangest of all his decora- 
tions, deftly wrought long ago by some aboriginal silver- 
smith, was a large silver nose-piece that almost hid his upper 
lip. His head-dress was an heirloom made of wild turkey 
feathers fastened to the cap with such cunning skill that they 
turned and twinkled with every movement of his body. 

He had been an attentive listener to all who had spoken, 
and as the memories of the past were awakened, the signif- 
icance of the occasion filled his heart and the expression of 
his honest face showed that he was deeply moved. Espe- 
cially significant to him was the presence at this council fire 
of the Mohawk chief, Colonel Kerr, and the burden of his 
soul was that the broken friendship of the League should 
once more be restored. Flis speech was the most dramatic 
incident of the day. Rising gravely in his place he said: 

"Brothers : I will also say a few words. In olden times, 
on occasions of this kind, after lighting the council-fire, our 
fathers would first congratulate each other on their safe ar- 



116 OLD CAXEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

rival and their escape from all the perils of the journey from 
their widely separated homes to the scene of the council. In 
the Ga-no-nyok (speech of welcome) the orator would wipe 
the sweat from the brows of the guests and pluck the thorns 
from their moccasins. Next, and most important, thanks 
would be offered to the Great Spirit for their preservation 
and safety. Imitating the example of our fathers, while we 
felicitate ourselves on our safe arrival here and our presence 
on this occasion, we, too, give thanks to the Good Spirit who 
has kept us until this moment. 

"Brothers : It is true, as has been said by the speakers 
who preceded me, that our fathers formed and established a 
mighty nation. The confederacy of the Iroquois was a 
power felt in the remotest regions of this continent before 
the advent of the pale-face, and long after the white men 
came and began to grow numerous and powerful, the friend- 
ship of the Iroquois was courted as Dutch and English and 
French struggled for the contest. They poured out their 
blood like water for the English, and the French were driven 
from this great island. Our fathers loved their nation and 
were proud of its renown. But both have passed away for- 
ever. Follow the sun in its course from the Hudson to the 
Niagara, and you will see the pale faces as thick as leaves in 
the wood, but only here and there a solitary Iroquois. 

"Brothers : When the War of the Revolution was ended, 
our Great Father, General Washington, said that he would 
forget that we had been enemies, and would allow us to re- 
possess the country we had so long called our own. Our 
brothers the Mohawks chose, however, to cast their lot with 
the British, and followed the flag of that people to the Grand 
River, in Canada, where they have ever since sat under its 
folds. In the last war with England the Mohawks met us 
as foes on the war-path. For seventy-five years their place 
has been vacant at our council-fires. They left us when we 
were strong, a nation of warriors, and they left us in anger. 

"Brothers : We are now poor and weak. There are none 
who fear us or court our influence. We are reduced to a 
handful, and have scarce a place to spread our blankets in 
the vast territory owned by our fathers. But in our poverty 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 117 

and desolation our long-estranged brothers, the Mohawks, 
have come back to us. The vacant seats are filled again, 
although the council-fire of our nation is little more than a 
heap of ashes. Let us stir its dying embers, that by their 
light, we may see the faces of our brothers once more. 

"Brothers : My heart is gladdened by seeing a grandson 
of that great chief Thay-en-dan-ega-ga-onh (Captain Brant) 
at our council-fire. His grandfather often met our fathers 
in council when the Six Nations were one people and were 
happy and strong. In grateful remembrance of that nation 
and that great warrior, and in token of buried enmity, I will 
extend my hand to our Mohawk brother. May he feel that 
he is our brother, and that we are brethren." 

The Indian character is reticent and hides the outward 
evidence of deep feeling as unmanly, but as the aged man 
spoke, the tears rolled down his furrowed cheeks and as he 
turned and held out his beseeching, friendly hand to the 
haughty Mohawk, strong ejaculations of approval broke 
from the lips of all his dusky brethren. With visible emo- 
tion Colonel Kerr arose and warmly grasped the outstretched 
palm. 

"My brother," said he, "I am glad to take your hand once 
more held out in the clasp of friendship ; the Senecas and 
the Mohawks now are both my people." 

"My brother," said O'Bail, "may the remembrance of this 
day never fade from our minds or from the hearts of our 
descendants." 

As speaker after speaker had addressed the council, the 
hours slipped swiftly by and only the embers of the fire still 
glowed when, at a pause towards the close, there came a sur- 
prise for all who were present, as one of the pale-faced guests 
quietly arose, and stepping to the charmed circle of red- 
skinned orators, spoke to them in their own tongue. It was 
the tall figure of Orlando Allen of Buffalo, then in his seven- 
tieth year, who addressed the council. As a boy of sixteen 
years he had come to Buffalo to live with Dr. Cyrenius 
Chapin, while it was still a rude hamlet, encircled with for- 
ests, which were the hunting grounds of the Senecas, who 
were then still living on the Buffalo Creek and its tributary 



118 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

streams. He had learned their speech and had known their 
fathers face to face and now he spoke first in their own lan- 
guage to these, their children. He addressed the council in 
Seneca as follows : 

"Brothers : I also will say a few words and would be glad 
if I might speak to you as once I could in your own tongue, 
so as to make my words clear to your understanding. 

"Brothers : This valley of the Genesee where your 
fathers once ruled is filled with remembrances of old days 
and we are gathered here to revive those memories. This is 
of great importance, as is the preservation of this old council 
house which your fathers parted with when they gave up 
their lands, but which has once more been restored. 

"Brothers : The words for my thoughts come more 
slowly in your speech than in former days when I knew it 
well, so I will speak now in my own language. Neh-hoh, — 
that is all." 

An outburst of ejaculations testified to the pleased sur- 
prise and gratification of his Indian auditors ; then, turning 
to the group of pale-faces beyond the circle, he spoke in Eng- 
lish at considerable length in interesting reminiscence of the 
past. He had known Red Jacket, Cornplanter, Young King, 
Captain Pollard, Destroytown, Blacksnake, Little Billy, 
Shongo and many besides, and related many incidents con- 
nected with these celebrated characters, as he had heard th m 
from their own lips. In his youth it was the custom each 
year in the month of June for the Indians to gather in large 
numbers at Buffalo to receive their annuities through the 
hands of Captain Jasper Parrish, the United States sub- 
agent, and Captain Horatio Jones, the Government interpre- 
ter. Both had been Indian captives and perhaps no incident 
that he related was more interesting to his hearers than the 
story of how the latter ran the gauntlet at this old Council 
House at Caneadea. 

When he was about fourteen years old Ploratio Jones was 
captured bv a Seneca war-party in the neighborhood of his 
father's home in Bedford County, Pa. As he ran to escape 
his captors, one of whom was calling him to "stop." he stum- 
bled and fell, but to his surprise, instead of receiving the ex- 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 119 

pectecl blow of a tomahawk, the warrior who had pursued 
him picked him up kindly and throwing a string of beads 
about his neck carried him off, a captive. On the long jour- 
ney that followed he was kindly treated and finally reached 
the Genesee River at Caneadea, where he was told that he 
must run the gauntlet with his fellow-prisoners. They 
forded the stream and saw before them the old council 
house on which a white flag was flying — the goal of safety — 
which they must reach through the long parallel lines of 
men, women and children armed as usual with tomahawks, 
clubs and whips for their exulting and cruel pleasure. 

His captor held him back until all the other prisoners had 
started, and then giving him a push said to him, "Now run 
like the devil,'' and he did, by his agility escaping the blows 
aimed at him until the council house was nearly reached. 
Just then he saw a prisoner directly in front of him struck 
down by a savage blow from a tomahawk, and in the extrem- 
ity of terror he sprang through an opening in the lines and 
flying down a woodland path sought to make his escape. As 
he passed a lodge in which two old squaws were sitting, one 
of these jumped to her feet and seizing him, dragged him in, 
pushed him under a rude bunk or bed and threw some gar- 
ments or skins over him. Almost immediately he heard the 
voices of his pursuers loudly questioning the women and 
hurrying on, misled by their replies. When they had van- 
ished the squaws took him from his concealment and hiding 
him with their blankets between them, brought him safely to 
the council house, where he learned, to his pleased surprise, 
that one of them would be his adoptive mother. She had lost 
a son itl some wild foray and had commissioned one of the 
warriors to bring her a white lad whom she might adopt in 
his place. It was her string of beads which had been thrown 
about the boy's neck when he had been captured, and by it 
she had recognized him as he fled past her door. He was 
treated kindly and lived many years among the Senecas, be- 
coming much attached to them and to their rude life. They 
made him their interpreter and he was able to render many 
acts of kindness to other white captives less fortunate than 
himself. 



120 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

A characteristic incident was that related by Mr. Allen re- 
garding Cornplanter, whose grandson sat before him. The 
aged chief was a man moulded for greatness, whose influ- 
ence and whose word were potent with his people. Upon one 
occasion, at the annual council at Buffalo Creek when Corn- 
planter was present, a vigorous discussion arose as to the re- 
payment to a white creditor of $500 which he had loaned the 
Senecas to defray the expenses of a delegation sent by them 
to Washington. Some of those present argued that a portion 
of this money had been used to pay the charges of an Oneida 
who had accompanied the delegation, and that therefore the 
Senecas should not repay the full amount. The trader very 
justly claimed that he had loaned the money to the Senecas, 
who had pledged themselves for its repayment and that he 
could not be responsible for the way in which they had spent 
it. In those days the annuities were paid in silver dollars and 
half-dollars and the sum had been counted out and lay upon 
a small table in the council house. The discussion waxed 
warm and it began to look as if the trader might lose a por- 
tion of his loan, when old Cornplanter, who had been sitting 
in silence, arose and asked the trader the amount of his 
claim. Pointing to the money on the table, he said, "Is that 
the correct amount, interest and all ?" Upon being answered 
that it was, he took the trader's hat and sweeping into it the 
pile of coin from the table, handed it to the claimant, then 
' turning to the council, said, "The debt is paid ; my name is 
Cornplanter," and quietly resumed his seat. 

When Mr. Allen had ended his interesting address, Presi- 
dent Fillmore with a few kindly words, presented, on behalf 
of Mr. Letchworth, a specially prepared silver medal to each 
of those who had taken part in the council. As old Buffalo 
Tom came forward when his name was called, he thrust his 
hand into his bosom and brought forth a very large silver 
medal which was suspended from his neck. "Perhaps," said 
he, "I ought not to have one ; I have got one already which 
old General Jackson gave me." He was assured that he was 
entitled to both, and now his children treasure them as heir- 
looms. 

This ceremonv ended, Nicholson Parker, who made the 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 121 

opening speech, arose and in a few words, gravely and softly 
spoken in his native tongue, formally closed the council. 
Then turning to the white guests, whom he addressed as his 
'younger brothers," he spoke the farewell words. 

"We have gathered in council here to-day," said he, "the 
representatives of the Mohawks, who guarded the easterly 
door of the Long House, and of the Senecas, who kept its 
western gate. It has been to us an occasion of solemn in- 
terest, and as one after another of my brothers has spoken 
around the council fire that we have lighted, we have re- 
hearsed the deeds of our fathers who once dwelt in this beau- 
tiful valley, and in the smoke of that council fire our words 
have been carried upward. Our fathers, the Iroquois, were 
a proud people, who thought that none might subdue them ; 
your fathers when they crossed the ocean were but a feeble 
folk, but you have grown in strength and greatness, while 
we have faded to but a weak remnant of what we once were. 
The Ho-de'-no-sau-nee, the people of the Long House, are 
scattered hither and yon ; their league no longer exists, and 
you who are sitting here to-day have seen the last of the con- 
federated Iroquois. We have raked the ashes over our fire 
and have closed the last council of our people in the valley of 
our fathers." 

As he ended his voice faltered with an emotion which was 
shared by all present. He had spoken the last words for his 
people, fraught with a tender pathos that touched the hearts 
of those that heard him with a feeling of that human brother- 
hood in which ''whatever may be our color or our gifts" we 
are all alike kin. 

For a few moments there was a becoming silence and then 
David Gray — name beloved of all who knew him — the poet- 
editor of the Buffalo Courier, rose and read 

The Last Indian Council on the Genesee. 

The fire sinks low, the drifting ,smoke 

Dies softly in the autumn haze. 
And silent are the tongues that spoke 

In speech of other days. 



123 OLD CANEADEA COUNCIL HOUSE 

Gone, too, the dusky ghosts whose feet 
But now yon listening thicket stirred; 

Unscared within its covert meet 
The squirrel and the bird. 

The story of the past is told, 

But thou, O Valley, sweet and lone ! 
Glen of the Rainbow ! thou shalt hold 

Its romance as thine own. 
Thoughts of thine ancient forest prime 

Shall sometimes tinge thy summer dreams. 
And shape to low poetic rhyme 

The music of thy streams. 

When Indian summer flings her cloak 

Of brooding azure on the woods, 
The pathos of a vanished folk 

Shall haunt thy solitudes. 
The blue smoke of their fires once more 

Far o'er the hills shall seem to rise, 
And sunset's golden clouds restore 

The red man's paradise. 

Strange sounds of a forgotten tongue 

Shall cling to many a crag and cave, 
In wash of falling waters sung, 

Or murmur of the wave. 
And oft in midmost hush of night, 

Shrill o'er the deep-mouthed cataract's roar, 
Shall ring the war-cry from the height 

That woke the wilds of yore. 

Sweet Vale, more peaceful bend thy skies, 

Thy airs be fraught with rarer balm : 
A people's busy tumult lies 

Hushed in thy sylvan calm. 
Deep be thy peace! while fancy frames 

Soft idyls of thy dwellers fled. — 
They loved thee, called thee gentle names, 

In the long summers dead. 

Quenched is the fire: the drifting smoke 
Has vanished in the autumn haze: 

Gone, too, O Vale, the simple folk 
Who loved thee in old days. 



AND ITS LAST COUNCIL FIRE. 123 

But, for their sakes — their lives serene — 
Their loves, perchance as sweet as ours — 

O, be thy woods for aye more green, 
And fairer bloom thy flowers ! 

It was the fitting close to a memorable clay. The "dappled 
shadows of the afternoon" rested on hill and valley as one by 
one the picturesque figures of those who had that day so 
strangely linked the present w r ith the past, left the old council 
house, bright colors and feathery plumes mingling with the 
autumn foliage and the softly dropping leaves until all had 
vanished. The "story of the past" had once for all been told, 
but around those ancient, weather-beaten walls, which had 
once more welcomed the children of those whom it had 
known long ago in the days of its prime, there lingers still 
the remembrance of their last council fire — a memory that 
cannot be forgotten. 



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VI. THE SENECA MISSION AT 
BUFFALO CREEK. 



The earliest attempt to evangelize the Indians in this vi- 
cinity came after the permanent establishment of their vil- 
lages on the Niagara frontier following the devastation of 
their Genesee valley towns by Sullivan's expedition in 1779, 
when they fled to the protection of the British at Fort Niag- 
ara. At the close of the succeeding winter they made their 
settlements near that Fort and at Buffalo Creek. In the year 
1800 the New York Missionary Society sent Rev. Elkanah 
Holmes as missionary to the Tuscaroras and Senecas, and 
from the report presented at their annual meeting April 5, 
1802, it appears that at first he made his headquarters at 
Niagara and in April, 1801, visited New York with pro- 
posals from the Indians to build two school houses : one at 
Buffalo Creek, the other at the Tuscarora village about four 
miles from Lewiston. It would appear from this report that 
the Senecas prior to this time had been suspicious of designs 
upon their lands and had rejected a missionary "sent from 
Boston," but that they were now eager for a mission- 
ary teacher, and while on this visit to New York Air. 
Holmes received about $190 toward the establishment of a 
school at Buffalo Creek, so that the attempt was actually 
made upon his return. The report states that "Shortly after 
his arrival at Buffalo, most of the timber for the school-house 
was hewn and immediately on opening a subscription among 



123 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

the inhabitants $300 was raised. Owing, however, to sick- 
ness they had not been able to finish this building, but the 
school had been taught by Mr. Palmer (Joseph R. Palmer?; 
till the beginning of last winter (1801-2), when it was 
thought proper to suspend till spring." 

The Society's annual report of April 3, 1803, states that 
"We have not learned with certainty that a school has been 
set up among the Senecas, nor that the two school-houses, 
one for the Senecas and another for the Tuscaroras, for 
which the Legislature of the State appropriated $1,500, have 
been erected." At this time Mr. Holmes' engagement was 
confirmed as permanent missionary at a salary of $500, in- 
cluding traveling and incidental expenses, commuted at $125, 
his commission embracing the Senecas and Tuscaroras as 
"his peculiar and stated charge from which he is never to be 
away more than six months in any one year." 

For several years no mention is made of the Senecas on 
the Buffalo Creek. Mr. Holmes lived at the Tuscarora vil- 
lage, probably making occasional visits to his other charges 
until differences finally arose between the New York Society 
and its representative. He opposed the suggestion of form- 
ing a church organization among the Tuscaroras, on the 
ground that the Indians were not ready for it ; an agent was 
sent to investigate, who reported that Mr. Holmes' views 
were at variance with those of the Society's management, as 
he gave evidence "of pa?do-baptist leanings." This resulted 
in his resignation in 1807 or 1808, after which he was em- 
ployed by the Baptists as an itinerant preacher. In 1809 Rev. 
Andrew Gray succeeded him as missionary to the Tusca- 
roras, and Rev. J. C. Crane "of New Jersey" was sent to that 
village as a teacher at a salary of $200 per annum, "with the 
hope of an augmentation." He afterwards succeeded to the 
charge of that mission, where he remained in faithful ser- 
vice until his death in January, 1826. 

In 181 1 the Society sent Rev. John Alexander as a mis- 
sionary to the Senecas at Buffalo Creek, but after meeting 
with the chiefs in council he found them still suspicious that 
some attempt was on foot to gain possession of their lands, 
and they refused to receive him, It appears that some years 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 127 

before they had been visited by a Rev. Mr. Cram, a mis- 
sionary from the Society for Propagating Christian Knowl- 
edge, whom they had rejected, — doubtless the missionary 
referred to in the annual report of the New York Missionary 
Society for 1802, — and their attitude was still one of pro- 
found distrust. Mr. Alexander remained and preached in 
Buffalo for a few months, but some misunderstanding arose 
about his compensation and he soon returned to New York. 

With him the Society had sent Jabez Backus Hyde as a 
teacher, and although the chiefs had refused to receive the 
missionary, some of them desired instruction for their chil- 
dren, and Air. Hyde was invited to remain and establish a 
school. To this he consented and thus began a work of use- 
fulness which he continued with marked success for nearly 
ten years, preparing the way for those later efforts, which 
finally resulted in establishing a permanent mission at the 
Buffalo Creek. 

As early as 1798 the Society of Friends in the City of 
Philadelphia had sent some of their number to the Indians 
on the Alleghany, where they had been kindly received, bend- 
ing their efforts more especially towards the ways of civiliza- 
tion, instructing their charges in agriculture and the simpler 
useful crafts that should ameliorate their condition and make 
them more self-helpful, extending these self-sacrificing en- 
deavors at a little later day to those upon the Cattaraugus 
Reservation. 

At this time the greater part of the Indians in Western 
New York, more than 2,000 in number, were settled in three 
or four villages on the Buffalo Creek Reservation, along the 
banks of Buffalo Creek and its branches and of Cazenovia 
Creek, four or five miles east of the village of Buffalo. The 
most central of these and the nearest to Buffalo was called 
Seneca village and was clustered near the council house, 
which stood about twenty rods from Buffalo Creek on its 
northwest bank, at a point now marked by the angle between 
Archer street and Seneca street, near the present street-car 
barn. Near by lived Seneca White and other well-known 
Indians, and their straggling cabins were scattered to the 
eastward on both sides of the Aurora road for a distance of a 



128 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

mile or more. About four or five miles southeastward, in 
the vicinity of what is now called Lower Ebenezer, was the 
Onondaga "castle" or village, where Col. Thomas Proctor 
found twenty-eight "good cabins'' at the time of the council 
of 1791. Here, too, was their council house, which stood on 
the southern bank of Cazenovia Creek. Some five or six 
miles northward from the Seneca village was the largest of 
these Indian villages, called Jack Berry's town, or more com- 
monly Jackstown, which was a stronghold of the Pagan 
party, as was also a smaller cluster of cabins northeastward 
from Seneca, called Turkeytown.* 

It is difficult to determine just where Air. Hyde located 
his school, but it would seem to have been in the immediate 
vicinity of the council house of Seneca village. There is in 
the possession of the Buffalo Historical Society a manuscript 
"Account of the Seneca Indians and Mission," written by 
Mr. Hyde, and dated August 8, 1820, from which we learn 
something of the many difficulties and trials which beset his 
endeavor. His position had been a subordinate one and, so 
far from having derived any advantage from having accom- 
panied the proffered missionary, the prejudices excited by 
Mr. Alexander became a serious embarrassment to his own 
introduction. After waiting some seven months he opened 
his school, and at the annual meeting of the Society, April 
7, 1812, it was reported that "his conduct has been prudent 
and upright and he has succeeded in erecting a school house 
near the center of the Seneca settlement, where he now re- 
sides." Xot only prudent and upright in his conduct, he was 
deeply conscientious in his devotion to duty, and there is 
something pathetic in the story of his brave struggle against 
constant discouragement. He says : "The war took place the 
next summer (1812), which threw everything into confusion 
on the frontier. Several times the school was interrupted, a 

*My information as to these localities comes from Mrs. Martha E. Parker, 
v.- ho lived with her aunt, Mrs. Asher Wright, at the mission from 1836; and 
from Benjamin C. YanDuzee, the printer for the mission, who began his work 
there in 184-1. Their recollection has hcen confirmed by MS. notes left by the 
late Orlando Allen. Mrs. Parker ;s now living (1903) at the Cattaraugus Res- 
ervation and Mr. Van Duzce resides at Hamburg. Both are well past eighty 
years of age. 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 129 

few scholars attended, but were very irregular. After the 
war the school revived for a short time, but soon diminished, 
none of the first scholars persevered. During the six years 
that I professed to act as a school teacher, I had several sets 
of new scholars, and not one of them made proficiency that 
promised to be of any use to them. My heart was deeply 
affected at the prospect which forbid the hope that anything 
would ever be effected in this way." 

From year to year he persevered despite all disappoint- 
ments. Although commissioned by the Society only as a 
teacher, the thought of evangelizing the Indians took even a 
deeper hold upon him and shaped his course. Oftentimes he 
was ridiculed by those who thought such efforts as his own 
were but wasted with such a stolid people, but this stimulated 
him to renewed endeavor and "a full determination that the 
enemy would not always triumph." Of these earlier years he 
gives no record, but it is evident that the chiefs were not 
willing to receive other permanent workers than himself, al- 
though he had won their confidence and respect. He says : 
''The summer of 1817 Mr. Butrick lived with me I indulged 
the hope that his meek and affectionate manner would in- 
terest the Indians in his favour and influence them to listen 
to his instruction, but they stood aloof from him, and when 
I pressed them to attend to his instructions, they answered 
they would not have a minister stay among them." 

In that year he received a visit from Rev. Timothy Alden, 
a missionary licensed by the Society for Propagating the 
Gospel, whose published letters give us occasional glimpses 
of those early days of the Seneca Mission :* "On Tuesday 
evening the 20th of August, 18 17, we arrived at the Mission 
House occupied by Jabez Backus Hyde, who has had the 
care of the Indian School for five years in the Seneca village 
of Buffalo Creek, four miles from its entrance into the Lake. 
From all the intelligence I had been able to collect I had very 
little expectation of preaching to this part of the tribe, from 
the circumstance that my predecessors, the Rev. Messrs. 

•"Account of sundry Missions performed among the Senecas and Munsees 
in a Series of Letters with an Appendix, by Rev. Timothy Alden, President of 
Allegheny College, New York. Printed by J. Seymour, 1S27." 



130 SEX EC A MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

Cram and Alexander, some years ago, after a formal intro- 
duction to the chiefs in council, could have no permission to 
address the Indians on the subject of the Christian Religion. 
My reception, however, was far more favorable than I had 
anticipated. On Wednesday, in company with Mr. Hyde, we 
called on some of the natives, and particularly on King 
(Young King) and Pollard, two influential chiefs. The 
business of my mission was made known to them and they 
were pleased to express their approbation of the object. 
Pollard said that he was glad I had informed the chiefs of 
my wishes that they might have the opportunity to communi- 
cate them to their people. King and Pollard promised to 
give notice of the meeting which they preferred to have on 
the Sabbath, and Jacob Jamieson was engaged to interpret 
on the occasion. He had lately returned from Dartmouth 
College, where for about two years he had been a student, 
and is considered as one of the best interpreters to be found 
among the Senecas. At the time appointed we met at the 
school house in Seneca, as the village of Buffalo Creek is 
sometimes called, which was crowded with the tawney in- 
habitants, while a considerable portion stood without at the 
doors and windows. Ten chiefs were present, of whom one 
was the celebrated Sogweewautan, who is extensively known 
by the name of Red Jacket. Of the shrewd remarks which 
this famous orator has frequently made to missionaries with 
reference to ministers of the Gospel you have doubtless been 
apprised. As I did not call on him on the previous Wednes- 
day it occurred to me that he might have thought himself 
neglected. It was grateful to me to learn that when Pollard 
informed him of my arrival and of my wish to preach to the 
Indians he expressed his unqualified approbation of the steps 
taken for my accommodation and offered nothing in the way 
of objections, as he had formerly done to those who had pre- 
ceded me. . . . The Indians are much attached to Mr. 
Hvde and his family, who have been of no small advantage 
to them by precept and example. The school, consisting of 
about thirty boys, is in as prosperous a state as could reason- 
ablv be expected, yet the indefatigable instructor is greatly 
disheartened at the tardy progress of his pupils. Mr. Hyde 



SEX EC A MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 131 

has written a scries of discourses involving in plain and intel- 
ligible language suited to the capacity of the natives, the 
leading historical and doctrinal parts of the Bible, a number 
of which he has delivered with the assistance of an interpre- 
ter to the Indians and much to their edification." 

A year later, August 28, 1818, Mr. Alden wrote: "On the 
14th of July we arrived at Mr; Hyde's habitation in the first 
village of the Buffalo Indians and repaired to the cabin of 
Captain Billy, one of the aged chiefs, and stated to him my 
wish to preach to his people. We agreed on the following 
Sabbath for addressing the Indians of this place and Captain 
Billy promised to see them informed of the meeting. . . . 
On the Sabbath, the 19th of July [1818], we met the Indians 
at Seneca agreeably to appointment. Billy, Pollard, Young 
King; Twenty Canoes and other chiefs were present. Red 
Jacket and several more were at Tonnewanta. Of Indians 
and squaws from all parts of the Buffalo reservation there 
was a larger collection than when I visited them last autumn. 
There were many more than could be accommodated in the 
Council House where we assembled together. I had an able 
interpreter in Thomas Armstrong, who, like Hank Johnson, 
was taken in infancy, adopted and brought up as a member 
of the tribe. After singing, Mr. Hyde read the Lord's 
Prayer in Seneca, which he had recently translated. This 
was the first time these Indians had heard it in their native 
tongue, as previously stated to them that their friend and 
teacher would repeat to them in their language the prayer 
which was taught us by Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the 
world. . . . Mr, Hyde has resigned the charge of the 
school which he had under his care for rive years. He 
thought it would be advantageous to the Indians to suspend 
il for a season. They now begin to express their desire for 
its re-commencement. At the present time Mr. Hyde is 
busily employed in acquiring the Seneca, gradually prepar- 
ing a Grammar of the dialect' and translating into it the Gos- 
pel according to the Evangelist John. In this important 
labor he is assisted by Thomas Armstrong, with whom he 
was providentially brought to an acquaintance when greatly 
needed, but not knowing where to find one so competent. 



132 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

Mr. Hyde has the confidence of those with whom he resides 
more than any other man." Regarding this, Mr. Hyde says : 
"At this time I was translating the third chapter of John, and 
as it was my first attempt I proceeded very cautiously. Every 
opportunity an Indian of intelligence called on me I read my 
translation to ascertain whether it was correct." 

It was probably about this time (1817-18) that Mr. Hyde 
was designated by the Society as a catechist and his labors 
were devoted even more strenuously to the spiritual enlight- 
enment of the Indians among whom in the spring and sum- 
mer of 1818 more interest seemed to be awakened in religious 
matters. He tells us: "The 16th of August five young men 
of the best families among the Senecas came to the School 
House, where I and my family had gone that day to carry on 
a meeting among ourselves. They came in and informed us 
that they had come to learn the Will of God made known 
in His word. They had agreed to observe the Sabbath and 
listen to the instruction of the Word of God. For four 
w r eeks they stood alone, encountering all the ridicule the 
opposition were pleased to bestow. The 15th of September 
four other young men of similar character joined us with 
similar professions ; their wives were won over by their 
husbands ; three elderly women joined us ; two of them were 
mothers of the young men, the other was a white woman, a 
captive taken when a child, and one old chief, a captive taken 
when a child, the father of the young men." At first the 
hymns and prayers were in English and Mr. Hyde spoke to 
the Indians through his interpreter, but in October some Tus- 
caroras visited them on the Sabbath and conducted the sing- 
ing in the Indian language. This aroused much interest and 
Mr. Hyde began to instruct his followers in singing on 
Wednesday evenings. The meetings were crowded and the 
school house became too small for their needs. Finally some 
of the old chiefs who had stood aloof, professed an attach- 
ment for the teachings of Christianity and attended the 
meetings. 

Being advised of this encouraging change, the New York 
Missionary Society sent two commissioners to meet the chiefs 
in council, with the result that the Senecas, Onondagas and 



F 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 133 

Cayugas on the reservation entered into a covenant with the 
commissioners, by the terms of which the Society engaged 
to send them teachers free of expense, the Indians agreeing 
to receive them, listen to their instructions and advise and 
counsel with the Society. Mr. Hyde says there was only one 
chief of considerable note who absented himself and did not 
sign the covenant. 

After the commissioners left, the Pagans charged the 
Christian party with selling themselves to be the bond slaves 
of the ministers "who would eat up their land and consume 
them off the earth," and in the spring council which fol- 
lowed, in June, 1819, a furious discussion took place, with 
sharp recriminations, in which Red Jacket was violently 
prominent, but after a stormy session of four days, commis- 
sioners of the United States arrived to discuss the relin- 
quishment of certain lands, and in this even more engrossing 
discussion the subject of religion was dropped, and finally 
the council dispersed without any decision on that point and 
every one was left to think and act for himself. 

So many difficulties now arose between Mr. Hyde and 
his people and with his interpreter that from the 1st of Janu- 
ary, 1820, until the 17th of April he suspended his labors 
among them. 

In the meantime, in fulfillment of its promise to provide 
additional teachers, the New York Missionary Society sent 
Mr. and Mrs. James Young of Orange Co., N. Y., who left 
Xew York in the autumn of 1819 and were eight days on 
their journey from that city to the Tuscarora village, where 
they were to remain until the mission house under construc- 
tion for them at the Buffalo Creek should be completed 
A\'itli them was Miss Esther Rutgers Low of Xew York City, 
a young lady of but twenty-orTe years of age, who was sent 
by the Society, as an assistant in the school. Her service 
among the Senecas was but brief, for two years later she 
married Rev. David Remington of Buffalo, who then became 
a missionary to the -Mississippi Choctaws. She was the 
mother of Miss Elizabeth H. Remington and of the late 
Cyrus K. Remington of Buffalo. The former preserves a 



134 SEXECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

very interesting account written by her mother of that long 
journey in 1819. 

The new house which they were to occupy at the Seneca 
village was located near the site of the later mission house 
(built in 1833), which is still standing (1903) north of Sen- 
eca Street, close by the old Indian cemetery, Buffam Street 
at the present time passing between these landmarks of the 
past. Miss Low states that it was a log house two stories 
high, the second floor being reserved for the school. Here 
Mr. Young and his companions established themselves about 
January 1, 1820, the journey from the Tuscarora village 
being made in a large country wagon, on which their house- 
hold goods were piled, over rough roads with mud so deep 
that despite an early morning start they were compelled to 
stop for the night at a tavern half way to Buffalo. Another 
day was consumed in reaching the house of Mr. Ransom in 
Buffalo, which stood on the spot afterwards occupied by the 
Universalist Church on Main Street, near Chippewa. Here 
they were hospitably entertained and on the third day, 
through still greater perils of mud and unbroken forests, they 
made their way to their final destination. 

Their work of instruction began at once. Besides the 
usual English classes, the ladies of the family taught the 
Indian women and girls how to knit and to sew ; and what 
David Gamut would have called "the difficult art of Psalm- 
ody" was taught with some success to a class of young men 
who came for the purpose two evenings in each week. She 
says that many of them had good voices and were fond of 
singing. When summer came and their garden vegetables 
were ripe they found many dusky guests who were glad to be 
taught by practical demonstration how such things could be 
cooked and generously served. The Indian palate developed 
an especial vocation for squash and the resources of the little 
mission were sorely taxed by the constant call for "mors." 

On the 5th of September, 1820, Rev. Timothy Alden 
again visited Buffalo Creek and gives us in his letter to Dr. 
Albert Holmes of Cambridge, -Mass., an interesting view of 
the situation : 

"On Tuesdav, we arrived at the mission house in the most 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 135 

populous village in the Buffalo Creek Reservation, still occu- 
pied by Mr. Hyde, who, having- passed through many tribu- 
lations and discouragements in his benevolent and arduous 
labors continued for about nine years for the temporal and 
spiritual welfare of the Senecas is now rejoicing in the pros- 
pect of a better time, which already begins to glimmer on this 
benighted people. . . . The Indians are greatly pleased 
at the labors of Air. Hyde in translating and printing from 
time to time portions of the Holy Scriptures. He will shortly 
have finished a selection from the Bible to the amount of 
about one hundred copies of Seneca and English in opposite 
columns. He has spared no pains or expense to cause many 
of the Indians to be instructed in the art of singing. In al- 
most every cabin he entered a singing book was immediately 
produced and many pieces of our best church music were 
sung by note in just time and by words prepared by Mr. 
Hyde in their vernacular tongue. . . . Air. Hyde under 
the patronage of the Xew York Missionary Society, with the 
humble but honorable name of a Catechist, delivers regular 
discourses from Sabbath to Sabbath in the village of his 
residence and occasionally at Kataraugus and Tonewanta, 
when a cavalcade of nearly twenty of the principal charac- 
ters of his important charge accompanies him thirty miles 
from respect to this faithful laborer in the vineyard. . . . 
Although Air. Hyde is sometimes absent on the Sabbath, yet 
his people steadily held a meeting at which several of the 
chiefs pray, repeat passages from those parts of the Bible 
already translated and give an exhortation. They have a 
decent and comfortable place for public worship in their 
Council House, which by a resolve of long standing is the 
chief council fire-place of all the Six Xations. The present 
is a new building 42x18 feet and is well constructed of hewn 
logs. It is shingled, glazed, arched and sealed and furnished 
with neat and commodious seats and a good chimney, all the 
work of the Indians. The monthly concert of prayer is very 
observing and 011 every Thursday evening the singers meet 
together to perfect themselves in Psalmody and for religious 
instruction. " 

Tie then describes a meeting of this character which he 



136 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

attended September 7th, and gives the words of the "Adeste 
Fideles" as sung- in the Seneca language. His address was 
interpreted by George Jemison, a grandson of Alary Jemison 
and a brother of Jacob, to whom reference has been pre- 
viously made : 

"On Thursday, the 21st of September, we had the pleasure 
of witnessing the operation of an Indian School conducted 
by James Young, his wife and Miss Low. It is in the mid- 
way situation between two of the principal villages on the 
Buffalo Creek and was instituted under the patronage of the 
New York Missionary Society. The house lately erected is 
well calculated for the designed object and is furnished with 
a fine-toned bell of about 150 pounds weight. A lower story 
divided into a competent number of rooms affords comfort- 
able accommodations for the worthy and indefatigable mis- 
sion family. The upper story, consisting of one spacious 
room, the chimney being the center, with the fixtures and 
appurtenances for reading, writing, cyphering, sewing, knit- 
ting and spinning, is very convenient for the complex busi- 
ness of this flourishing seminary. A building on the plan of 
this construction may be considered as a good model for 
such an aboriginal establishment. We were highly pleased 
at the order and decorum which markes the conduct of the 
pupils, both male and female, and at the proficiency they had 
made in the various branches to which they had attended. 
The school is daily opened and closed with prayer, with a 
hymn in Seneca, which many of the children of both sexes, 
instructed by Mr. Young, sing with great propriety and ex- 
hibit a very interesting scene. He states not more than 
fifteen boys have attended the school of this place from day 
to day and about an equal number of girls, but that the pre- 
vious winter the number of boys was forty-five and girls 
twenty-five. On the Sabbath, the 24th of September, the 
Council House was well filled with the aborigines and 
amongst them were the chiefs Pollard, Young King, White 
Chief, Tall Peter, Seneca White and White Seneca. . . . 
On the following day we took our departure from the Reser- 
vation and our leave of the faithful laborer in this vineyard, 
Air. Hyde, his worthy consort, and family. It is truly grate- 



SEX EC A MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 137 

ful to witness the wonderful providential alteration for 
good, both spiritual and temporal, which has taken place 
among the aborigines of this region since my last visit in 
1818; this to be attributed to no small degree in Providence 
to the edifying example of the mission family." 

Towards the close of the year 1820 negotiations were in 
progress for the transfer by the New York Missionary 
Society of tins mission station and that at Tuscarora village 
to the United Foreign Missionary Society, an organization 
formed July 28, 181 7, by the united action of the Presby- 
terian, the Dutch Reformed and the Associate Reformed 
Churches of Xew York City. In December, 1820, when this 
transfer was pending, two commissioners, Rev. Stephen N. 
Rowan of Xew York and Rev. Plenry P. Strong of Phelps, 
N. Y.,* were sent to obtain the consent of all concerned. 
They sat in council with the Senecas, Onondagas and Cayu- 
gas at the Buffalo Creek, December 14, 1820, when the 
chiefs met their wishes and declared that they were now 
willing to receive a settled minister. Adjourning from the 
council house to Mr. Young's residence, Rev. Mr. Rowan 
joined in marriage the interpreter, Thomas Armstrong, and 
Rebecca Hempferman, both white captives taken in infancy 
by the Senecas during the Revolutionary War, who had 
been adopted by their captors and brought up as Indian 
children. 

At the same time Jonathan Jacket, youngest son of Red 
Jacket, was married to Yeck-ah-wak, a young woman from 
Cattaraugus. This is said to have been the first Christian 
marriage among the Senecas. Mrs. Remington states that 
when the ceremony was ended Mr. Strong said to Arm- 
strong, "Thomas, with us we salute the bride, that is we kiss 
her ; it is not in the ceremony, only it is a custom and a 
pleasure and you can do as you like about it." Thomas inter- 
preted it to his wife and after due and solemn deliberation 
responded : "We have considered it and as we do not see any 
profit in it we will omit it," which was therefore done. 

*MS. record written by Rev. Francis A. Vinton in 1S60 in possession ot 
the A. B. C. F. M., Boston, Mass. Miss Low's narrative says this was Rev. 
Paschal II. Strong 1 , corresponding secretary N. V. Home Missionary Society, 
which is more probably correct. 



138 SEX EC A MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

In January, 182 1, the Seneca Mission was formally trans- 
ferred to the United Foreign Missionary Society and Sep- 
tember 19, 1 82 1, Rev. Thompson S. Harris of Bound Brook, 
N. J., a recent graduate of Princeton College and Seminary 
and a licentiate of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, was 
appointed missionary for the Buffalo Creek Reservation, 
whither his young wife, Marianne La Tournette, accom- 
panied him. 

For some reason which is unexplained, these changes 
brought about the retirement of Mr. Hyde, who had labored 
so long and faithfully in this difficult field and to whom 
those who followed were indebted in the largest measure 
for all that opened the way for subsequent success. Rev. 
Timothy Alden speaks of meeting him in 1827 and says: 
"He was ordained several years ago and has been diligently 
laboring in vacant congregations of white people in sundry 
parts of the Gospel Vineyard.; but neither forgets nor is for- 
gotten by, the Senecas, who were first led under the great 
Plead of the Church, by his instructions and example, to an 
acknowledgment of the truth. The seven hymns, in Seneca, 
which he composed and published, have been sung seven 
years and the chiefs having requested him to enlarge their 
number, are much gratified by his recent prompt attention to 
their wishes. With his knowledge and the aid of which he 
can avail himself, he might soon translate at least one of the 
Gospels into the Seneca dialect." 

On the 2d of November, 182 1, Mr. Harris reached the 
mission station and records in his journal the pleasure he 
felt in "the neatness and simplicity of our family apart- 
ments." Very fortunately his earlier journals have been 
preserved, enabling us to see from the almost daily record 
which he penned, somewhat of the unwonted experiences 
which now occupied his life. There are many expressions 
of deep personal feeling, an unfailing reliance upon the 
mercv and goodness of God to which he and those who 
shared his work with him looked for help and guidance in 
difficult ways too often beset with grievous discourage- 
ments. Its phrases often seem stilted to our unaccustomed 
ears, but there is throughout a genuineness which com- 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 139 

mands our respect and compels our sympathy, and here and 
there we catch such glimpses of his surroundings as are of 
no small interest in picturing men and manners among those 
rude neighbors of Buffalo in its early years. 

On the day following his arrival he met with the natives 
for purposes of worship. He tells us that these services 
were held in their council house about a mile distant from 
the station and his first impressions were not unfavorable: 
"Congregation very attentive during service to the subject 
treated of. Much more order than could have been ex- 
pected from persons so ignorant and no more accustomed to 
discipline, but it is natural and perhaps constitutional. " 

During the first year of his service at the mission Mr. 
Harris found that he had much to learn of Indian ways, but 
he seems to have been a quick-witted scholar and to have 
applied himself with conscientious devotion and with much 
tact to a knowledge of the strange people among whom his 
lot was cast and to have succeeded in gaining their con- 
fidence and trust. Within a week of his arrival a council, 
which was well attended by the chiefs, was held at the mis- 
sion house, when his letters from the United Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society were delivered and explained and the way 
opened for his work. The principal speakers mentioned by 
him were "Little Johnson" and the celebrated Captain Pol- 
lard, who seems to have been one of the foremost among the 
Senecas to welcome whatever might lead to their instruction 
and to the advancement of his people in ways of civilization. 
In his speech he thanked the Great Spirit who had thus 
brought them face to face and the good society who had sent 
a minister "who could explain to them the Gospel of the 
Lord Jesus Christ contained in the Good Book," and prom- 
ised that they would "listen with all possible attention to the 
explanations which should from time to time be made from 
the Word of Go r \. for their best good and the salvation of 
their souls." It was evident that for all of this the way had 
been opened by the labors of Mr. Hyde during the ten years 
prior to Mr. Harris's coming, for he found a large and im- 
portant following among the influential chiefs. Perhaps the 
most devoted of there throughout his ministrv was Seneca 



140 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CF<EEK. 

White, who lived until about 1870. On the 12th of Novem- 
ber, Mr. Harris reports in his journal an interesting inter- 
view with this chief and with his brother, John Seneca, 
when Seneca White told him "that in his younger days in 
looking around him and seeing so many of his neighbors 
(white) as well as those of his own nation addicted to im- 
proper and sinful practices, some getting drunk, others dis- 
obeying their parents, others addicted to gamboling and 
frolicking, etc., he had made up his mind to abstain from all 
these things, to act justly and uprightly with all so far as it 
was in his power ; he had seen the great misery which such 
conduct had brought upon those who engaged in it, as well 
as on their friends ; that in looking back upon the path 
which he himself had trod he had some sorrow because he 
found nothing which could merit anything at the hands of 
God for he well knew that sin was mixed with all his ac- 
tions . . . and it was his constant wish that his sins might 
be pardoned and he accepted through Christ." 

The Pagan party, under their famous leader, Red Jacket, 
were by no means inactive, and their persistent opposition 
continued through many years, brought many difficulties 
and discouragements to the struggling mission and its ad- 
herents. Mr. Harris had brought a letter to the Indians 
from the U. S. War Department commending the mission 
and the school, and this in no small measure strengthened 
their hands. On the 5th of December, 1821, Mr. Harris 
had an interesting interview with Captain Jasper Parrish, 
United States Agent for the Six Xations, of whom he says : 
"He appears to be friendly to our establishment and anxious 
for the improvement of the people. He says that his aim 
and mine in regard to this people are one, they both tend to 
one result, i. e., the happiness and prosperity of the people, 
only his line of duties lies in one way and mine in another, 
but that both should go on together. Pie stated a conversa- 
tion which took place 'between him and Red Jacket this 
morning. Jacket came to him and wished to know his 
opinion, whether he did not think that the Black-coats were 
not coming in among them in order to take away their lands. 
He told them it was no such thins:, their lands were secured 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 141 

to them by Government and that they could not be deprived 
of them as long as that Government exists. That there is 
no incumbrance whatever except the right of pre-emption, 
which only relates to the right of a company's purchasing 
them provided they wish to sell. Ke promptly told him that 
he was an opposer of missionaries who had been sent him 
by people who wished their best good ; that not only so, but 
that he was opposing Government, who was very desirous of 
having them instructed and their children. And now you 
dare to oppose missionaries and societies and Government? 
Can you, a single man, presume to fly in the face of all these 
and violently resist them? Ah, well, but what had been the 
result of those numerous tribes who had received mission- 
aries among them ? What had become of them ? They are 
extinct ; they are forever gone, so that the name even is no 
more remembered. Well, and has dissipation and war had 
no effect in bringing about this catastrophe? Oh, yes, but 
liquor and sin and swearing all have come in this way. And 
after giving him a good scolding and telling him that all 
was in vain and that his people would become Christian in 
spite of all his efforts they parted 'about as good friends as 
we met.' " 

At this time Little Beard was still living and was the 
principal chief at the Tonawanda Reservation and on the 
evening of December ioth, he came to see Mr. Harris who 
says of him that "he appears to be an honest candid man ; 
he said he was very glad to see me and wished to let me 
know that his people wish to have a school-master from the 
Board, — a good Christian man, not lazy but swift, and one 
that knew a good deal and who would not set an example to 
his boys by which they would be induced to drink rum ; 
this he said, 'no good.' " 

On the following morning the missionary was gratified 
at receiving a visit from Young King, who seemed much 
pleased at the prospect of improvement and said : "Ten year 
ago Indians no work, no fence, no cattle, no corn, — all dark. 
Now good many cattle and boys some work, — by and by, 
maybe ten years, — boys work, make good roads and good 
fence, and have everything good.'' 



142 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

At the mission station, besides Mr. and Mrs. Harris and 
the teacher, Mr. Young and his wife, there were two assist- 
ants, Miss Van Patten and Miss Reeve, who had been sent 
especially to instruct the Indian women in spinning- and 
weaving and similar industries. When the Indians gathered 
at the mission house on Christmas day "it was proposed to 
them that as the mission house was more central to the three 
villages and as it would much accommodate them in 
bringing their children to and from Sunday school, and as it 
would better suit our women, some of whom were feeble 
and in ill health and not able to walk so far, it could per- 
haps with a little expense be as suitable a place for publick 
worship as any other and as it would be likely to accom- 
modate both the people and the mission family, the question 
was put to them whether they would agree to meet here or 
at the Council house, and whether they would consent to as- 
sist in moving the school house, which stood at Mr. Hyde's 
former residence, for the purpose of a weave shop for the 
squaws?" The answer, which required a fortnight's delib- 
eration, did not savor of that gratitude which the minister 
expected. They thought the council house, a mile distant, 
was good enough for them and should be for any one else; 
there was nothing in it which could be stolen, and that the 
mission women could afford to walk a mile for the sake of 
doing good, while the removal of Mr. Hyde's school house 
would be a useless trouble and expense. Mr. Harris thought 
their reply savored of "considerable impudence," but there 
was no help for it ; the services were held at the distant 
council house and a new school house was begun at 
the station. The work had been interrupted by reason 
of the recent changes, but by appointment Mr. Young 
cpened school April 10, 1821, with fifteen or sixteen 
scholars, with the understanding that as soon as the 
building was ready the children should be received into 
the mission family instead of returning from day to 
day, but when the time came a council was held May 22nd, 
and the chiefs gravely informed the missionary that they 
did not wish to have their children instructed in agriculture, 
as reading and writing were quite sufficient for the purposes 



SEXECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 143 

of the Gospel. Moreover, they were unwilling to have the 
schoolmaster correct their children and the outcome seems 
to be summed up in the brief entry in Mr. Harris's journal, 
May 23rd: "Mr. Young ready to go into school, but no 
children came." Prejudices and misunderstandings stood 
in the way, and it was not until July 1st that after many 
councils with the chiefs, fifteen children were sent by their 
parents to live with the mission family. By the 10th of July 
twenty-four had been received and the journal comments 
very hopefully upon their seeming intelligence and interest. 
None the less they were Indian children, resentful of dis- 
cipline, and only a week had passed when several of the 
boys deserted the school, with such bad effect in the way 
of example that September 24th all the girls ran away, to 
the great grief of the good missionary and the teacher who 
found little help and less comfort in appealing to Indian 
parents, who manifestly did not care. 

On the 2nd of November, 1821, the first report of the 
mission to the Government was made in the form of a let- 
ter to the Secretary of War of which a copy has been pre- 
served. This is of much interest as a picture of the actual 
situation at that early day : 

The establishment with which the undersigned have the happi- 
ness as well as honor to be connected, under the superintendence 
and patronage of the United Foreign Missionary Society, is situ- 
ated about four miles east of Buffalo on the Indian Reservation, in 
that vicinity. Its immediate site is within 70 rods of one of the 
branches of the Buffalo Creek which enters into the lake at Buffalo, 
and is nearly central to the whole population on the Reservation. 
The number of individuals which are at present employed in edu- 
cating the Indians at the station consists in all of six souls : a 
minister of the Gospel and wife, and one infant child; a teacher 
and wife and one female assistant. Of these the teacher and wife 
have been on the ground three years, the others have been but one. 
The teacher on his arrival was directed to erect a block-house 24 
by 28 for the accommodation of his family and school and to open 
a local school on the usual plan; the children coming every morn- 
ing and returning again at night. In the course of time this 
method of conducting the school was found to be deficient, because 
it did not nor could not secure the punctual attendance of the 



144 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

children, scattered as they were over the Reservation. It was then 
judged proper by our Board that a frame house should be built 
sufficiently capacious for the accommodation of the minister and as 
many scholars as should be judged expedient to receive under the 
superintendence of the family and to conduct the establishment 
upon the plan projected at the South and with which the Executive 
is in some measure acquainted. The necessary buildings were com- 
pleted for the reception of the youth on the 1st of July, 1822, and 
about 20 children taken under the immediate care of a Christian 
family. 

Upon the present plan of instruction it is our calculation 
primarily to introduce the children to the knowledge of the Eng- 
lish language and to open to them through this school those 
sources of information which are so highly valued by the instruc- 
tors of youth in this happy republick, believing that (it) is of the 
highest importance that the children among the Six Nations, sur- 
rounded as they are by a dense population of whites, should be 
made acquainted as early as possible with the language of that com- 
munity, with which they will in time in all probability be amalga- 
mated. 

This plan of instruction also supposes it highly proper that, to- 
gether with the advantages to be received in the training of a Chris- 
tian family, the children should be taught the common branches of 
agriculture and be made acquainted with those mechanic arts that 
may be of inestimable use in promoting their civilization. That under 
the influence of sober and industrious habits they may learn to sup- 
port themselves by cultivating the small remains of that soil, of the 
whole of which they were once the sole proprietors, but which has 
been too often diverted from them by the cruel hand of avarice, or 
sold through their own ignorance, for the merest trifle. But for the 
accomplishment of all this much time, labor and additional expense 
will be indispensably necessary. To complete the establishment 
under our superintendence it would seem important that more and 
different teachers should be employed in this work. Particularly a 
farmer is needed in connection with the establishment, not only to 
lessen the expenditures of the mission which are increasingly large, 
but also by having a well cultivated farm hi immediate sight, the 
natives may be excited to those industrious habits which are so 
seemingly calculated to raise them to a level with enlightened man. 

The improvements belonging to the establishment consist prin- 
cipally of the aforementioned buildings, together with a garden im- 
proved and about 12 acres enclosed with a substantial fence for 
an orchard and meadow. It was not discovered till a part of the 



?r %v . 






/' 









m 






\ 






REV. ASHER WRIGHT, 

Missionary to the Senecas, 1831-1875. 



SEX EC A MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 145 

buildings had been commenced that the site selected for their erec- 
tion was composed of a bed of almost solid limestone with a thin 
layer of earth above. Much labor and expense have been necessary 
in digging the cellar and well, the first of which only is com- 
pleted. 

The moveable property belonging to the establishment chiefly 
consists of implements of husbandry intended for the boys ; a loom, 
wheels and the necessary apparatus for the instruction of the girls 
and a set of carpenters' and shoemakers' tools, together with those 
articles of household furniture which would be found indispensable 
for a family of 30 persons. 

For the full accomplishment of the objects embraced in our plan 
much time, patience, perseverance and more funds than we can at 
present command, are absolutely necessary. For the further pro- 
secution of our measures we look with confident and buoyant hopes 
to the foster hand of Government, which has been so long, and we 
hope faithfully, extended for the protection and relief of its red 
children, will not be withdrawn from patronizing those institutions 
which have been formed for the amelioration of our Indian broth- 
ers which, in the language of a member of our board, "are in the 
full tide of successful operation." 

To this work we have devoted ourselves for life, expecting no 
other reward than that of an approving conscience in the discharge 
of our duty, hoping and believing that in the use of the proper 
means many will yet arise from among this people who shall 
continue to enlighten and bless this nation down to the latest gen- 
erations. Sir, Yours most respectfully, 

T. S. HARRIS, 
JAS. YOUNG. 

The year 1823 proved to be an important one in the his- 
tory of the mission, bringing some realization of the hopes 
of its leaders, and witnessing - the first organization of a 
church society among these Indians of its especial care. 
The laxity of the marriage relation among them had been 
the cause of great solicitude with Mr. Flarris, who had 
earnestly remonstrated with the chiefs over the extent of 
this evil and its unhappy consequences. On the 6th of Janu- 
ary after one of their meetings, nine of the young men ex- 
pressed their desire to be married by him "in a lawful Chris- 
tian manner, for the purpose of setting their own minds at 
rest and also as an example to their nation.'' There is a 



146 SEX EC A MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

touch of homely humor in the narrative as given in Mr. 
Harris's journal. "They concluded by asking if it would 
be in our power to gratify their wish of preparing a supper 
for the parties to be married, provided they found the pro- 
visions. They were told that we would be disposed to 
gratify their wishes as might appear to be proper. They 
would at once see the propriety of our not adapting any of 
the funds or the Board to such an object. But as they had 
generously offered to contribute all the materials of a supper 
on this occasion I would leave it with our females on whom 
the burden would chiefly fall, to say whether it would be in 
their power to gratify their wishes in this respect or not. 
Upon the sisters expressing their consent they left us ex- 
ceedingly pleased." The school also seemed to prosper in 
its small way and March ioth Mr. Harris writes : "Our 
school is certainly becoming more and more tractable : the 
whole number is 17. The progress they make in the knowl- 
edge of household business and in the various branches of 
study which occupy their attention the most of the day is 
truly gratifying. There is one class of six or seven who 
read fluently in the N. Testament, another who spell in 
words of two or three syllables and one or two beginners. 
They also make tolerable progress in learning the English 
language." 

The teacher, Mr. James Young, had been for some time 
engaged in preparing a hymn book in the Seneca language. 
This work had been attempted by Mr. Hyde as early as 
1820 as well as the translation of portions of the Holy Scrip- 
tures. In that year, as we have already seen, Mr. Alden 
wrote that 3.1 r. Hyde printed 100 copies of these selections 
with the Seneca and English in opposite columns and in ad- 
dition had composed and published seven hymns in Seneca. 
It is much to be regretted that no copy of either of these 
publications is known to be in existence. On the 27th of 
March. 1823, Mr. Harris writes in his journal: "At the 
close of the singing this evening we had the satisfaction to 
state to the congregation that the printing of the Indian 
Hymn Book prepared by the teacher for the use of the 
school and for the congregation was now completed. It 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 147 

was also stated that the printing and binding of the whole 
number of copies (which is 500) will cost near $40.00 and 
that as only $20.00 had been appropriated by a few benevo- 
lent white men for this object, we expected that they would 
assist us in defraying part of the expense of printing ; that 
they might either agree to pay the remaining sum in whole 
or in part to take the books at 25c apiece, not however be- 
fore they had examined them a little for themselves and see 
whether they could derive benefit from them. One or two 
of the hymns were then interpreted and sung by those who 
can read, verse by verse. They appeared exceedingly 
pleased and pronounced it 'was good' and said that they 
should cheerfully take upon themselves to pay at least part 
of the expense ; but supposed that as the books would be 
equally useful to all the Seneca nation on the five reserva- 
tions it appeared proper that the expense should be divided, 
not that one should be eased, and another burdened, but that 
all shouid pay an equal portion. They therefore advised 
that the teacher keep the books in his possession until the 
approaching June council when the necessary expense 
should be defrayed out of their annuities.'' 

But one copy of this hymn book is known to be in exist- 
ence now,* but in 1829 the American Tract Society repub- 
lished what is doubtless the same, "Hymns in the Seneca 
Tongue by James Young," the collection comprising twenty- 
nine hymns or psalms in Seneca, with the English versions on 
opposite pages, the same volume containing "Christ's Sermon 
en the Mountain, translated into the Seneca Tongue by T. S. 
Harris and J. Young," in which the Seneca and English 
versions also face each other. A copy of this edition of 
1829 was found in the leaden box placed in 1855 in the cor- 
nerstone of the Thomas Asylum when this first of its build- 
ings was demolished and the box opened in 1901. 

Sunday, the 10th of April, 1823, was the date of forming 
the first church organization among the Seneca Indians. 
Mr. Harris tells us that it was a delightful spring morning. 
"About 12 o'clock the people had pretty generally collected 
to view the solemn feast, everything having been previously 

•Owned by the Buffalo Historical Society. 



148 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

arranged. Discourse from I. Cor. 6-20 : 'For ye are brought 
with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your 
spirit which are God's.' After sermon the candidates were 
called forward and questioned on some of the plainer truths 
of the Bible and as to the sincerity of their desire to devote 
themselves to God in that covenant which is well ordered 
and sure in all things. After expressing their assent, the 
nature of baptism was explained more fully to their com- 
prehension. They then knelt down one by one and were 
baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost 
and were invited to the table. It was still and solemn and 
our prayer is that our God and father would condescend to 
ratify in heaven the sincere service of us frail imperfect 
mortals here on earth. The audience consisting of 150 per- 
sons was as solemn and orderly as could be reasonably ex- 
pected. Thank God that he has planted his infant church 
in this heathen land. Look down O Lord and visit this vine 
and the vineyard which thy right hand has planted. Next 
Sabbath was appointed for baptising the young children of 
these who were for the first time admitted to the sealing 
ordinances of the church." 

Besides Mr. and Mrs. Harris and Mr. and Mrs. Young, 
there were now in the mission family as assistants, Miss 
Phcebe Selden of Hartford, Conn., and Miss Asenath Bishop 
from Homer, N. Y. Four of the Indian chiefs were at this 
time admitted to church fellowship: Seneca White, of 
whom Mr. Harris wrote : "He is decidedly the nearest 
earthly friend we have in this country and the pillar of his 
people'' ; John Seneca, who was Seneca White's brother ; 
James Stephenson and Tall Peter. There were, therefore, 
ten members of this church at its first organization. In 1824 
Henry Twoguns and Captain Pollard were admitted to fel- 
lowship and Pollard's wife joined the church in the follow- 
ing year with two others. Among the five who were added 
to its membership in 1826 were White Seneca, another 
brother of Seneca White, and their father the old White 
Chief, who was generally known as "Father White." Mr. 
Harris says of him : "This man is above 80 years of age, 
is a white man, was taken captive by the Indians in their 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 149 

wars, has lived with them ever since, grew up to be a 
mighty hunter and great warrior and has long been a chief 
of much influence and is yet a sensible affectionate and 
friendly old man/' In 1827 twenty-two were added to their 
number, including Seneca White's mother and his wife, also 
the wife of Red Jacket. In 1828 nine were added, bringing 
the membership up to fifty-two persons. On the 10th of Oc- 
tober, 1823, Mr. Harris writes : "For the first time since our 
location among this people Red Jacket has this day paid us a 
visit and given us the privilege of a short interview. He 
appears rather friendly than otherwise, but we are quite 
suspicious nevertheless that his heart is secretly at work in 
endeavoring to execute his dark designs of mischief and 
opposition." In this he was not mistaken, for two days later 
Seneca White reported that Red Jacket had proposed to the 
young chiefs of the Christian party that they should turn 
the teachers "neck and heels out of doors," take their build- 
ings and let a young man (Jacob Jemison), who had been 
away at school teach the children, pay him out of the an- 
nuity money and have "a respectable school without the in- 
terference of these malicious Black Coats whose only aim 
is to entrap us with their pretended displays of friendship, 
that they may the more successfully practise their frauds 
and impositions and eventually lay us waste forever." 

This attempt failed, but a few months later this wily 
leader of the Pagan party succeeded for a time in his plans 
of opposition. In 182 1 a law had been enacted forbidding 
the residence of white men upon Indian lands. This, Mr. 
Harris says, had been introduced "for the express purpose 
of gratifying Red Jacket." In the early winter of 1822 a 
petition had been presented to the Legislature from the prin- 
cipal chiefs of the Christian party, signed also, it would ap- 
pear, by "the friends of Christianity and civilization in this 
and adjoining counties" praying that the law be altered "so 
that ministers of the Gospel and mechanics of good moral 
character might be excepted." This failed of success and 
the statute remaining unchanged, Red Jacket and his fol- 
lowers with whom "some white pagans joined," entered a 
formal complaint against the mission family remaining on 



150 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

the reservation, so that February 23, 1824, the District At- 
torney, H eman B. Potter, notified Mr. Harris of this, add- 
ing, "I don't see but that I must proceed to remove you, but 
I advised postponement till I could write you, but after a 
reasonable time to hear from you I shall be obliged to pro- 
ceed." 

This was a crushing blow, but there was no escaping it. 
By the middle of March, 1824, the mission was broken up. 
An appeal to the Legislature had been made without success, 
but a year later the law was changed and Mr. Harris re- 
turned to the mission house to resume his work in June, 
1825.* 

The schoolteacher, Mr. James Young, did not return to 
the mission with Mr. Harris at this time and his place was 
filled by Gilman Clark, who served until in 1827 he was 
compelled to resign "on account of ill health.'' An im- 
portant coadjutor at this time was Hanover Bradley, who 
with his wife (Catharine Wheeler) had joined the family 
at Christmas, 1823, as steward and farmer, afterward be- 
coming a catechist and always rendering valuable service to 
the struggling mission. The other assistants were Miss 
Asenath Bishop, who came February 23, 1823, and re- 
mained eighteen years until November, 184 1, and Miss Nancy 
Henderson, who served for six years from 1824 until 1830. 
To these were afterward added Miss Phoebe Selden, 1826 
to 1833 ; Miss Emily Root, 1827 to 1833 ; and Miss Re- 
becca Newhall, 1828 to 1832. From 1828 to 1830 or 183 1 
a Mr. Morton was in charge of the school and his wife was 
one of the assistants. 

Upon his return Mr. Harris was given a general super- 
intendence of the missions at Cattaraugus and the Tuscarora 
village in addition to his own at Seneca, and from this time 
his journals describe his frequent visits to the more distant 
stations where he saw many hopeful signs of progress. The 
Society of Friends had done much for the material and 
moral elevation of the Indians, especially on the Allegheny 
and later on the Cattaraugus reservations, but their quiet 
wavs were not his own and one mav read between the lines 



*Missionary Herald, Vol. 20, pp. 132-16; 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 151 

a certain satisfaction with which he records the shrewdness 
of logic shown by one of his own flock of whom he says : 
44 In a conversation by one of these young converts with a 
Quaker, the latter stated to him his view of the work of the 
spirit under the similitude of a cord let down from heaven 
and attached to every man's heart and that when this cord 
was touched by the finger of God the motion was invariably- 
felt at the lower extremity. 'It may be so,' said the man, 
'but I still have my doubts whether that is just so. I have 
been a good deal accustomed to fishing. I have frequently 
cast in my hook well baited ; I have sometimes felt very 
certain after it has sunk from my sight that I felt the bite 
of a fish. On examination I found I had no fish and the 
bait undiminished. Now it might possibly have been a fish 
that thus deceived me or it might have been the Devil. So, 
friend, I am afraid the Devil has more to do with this cord 
you speak of than you think for.' " 

July 31, 1826, the United States Foreign Missionary So- 
ciey was merged in the American Board of Commissioners 
for Foreign Missions, and these Indian missions were then 
formally transferred to that control. 

September 15, 1826, Mr. Harris writes in his journal: 
"It seems that our Mission School is considered by the host 
of strangers who visit these regions in the travelling season 
as a great curiosity and with many we hope a matter of 
special and delightful interest. The proximity of our Sta- 
tion to the Village of Buffalo affords great facility of grati- 
fying those who are capable of being wrought upon by the 
novelty of an Indian School. Scarce a day passes but sev- 
eral carriages stand at our yard fence loaded with visitors. 
To-day the school has exhibited before about 30 persons, 
among whom we had the pleasure of counting the Hon. the 
Secy, of the Navy of the United States" and suite, who ex- 
pressed themselves highly gratified with the intelligent coun- 
tenances and the agreeable and surprising proficiency of the 
children. A young gentleman, a native of England, ap- 
peared so much interested as to stay the greater part of the 

* Samuel Lewis Southard. 



152 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

• 
day and left with the mission on his departure a donation 

of $10.00." 

March 5, 1827, he mentions that at their monthly concert 
of prayer held at the council house a request was made that 
those should rise who wished Christians to pray for them. 
"Among the rest was the wife of the celebrated pagan chief. 
Red Jacket, who says that she feels she must repent ; that 
she is an old and wicked sinner, and wishes to be remem- 
bered in the prayers of Christians. There is something 
peculiar in the case of this woman. She has for a long time 
had great struggles of conscience in conforming to heathen- 
ish customs. But she states she has done it out of regard 
to the feelings of her husband by whom she was overawed. 
She has recently conversed with him on her desires to be- 
come a Christian. He has told her plumply that the mo- 
ment she publicly professes such an intention, that moment 
will terminate forever their connection as man and wife. 
She has deliberately made up her mind to seek the salvation 
of her soul and if he leaves her for it he must go. She hopes 
to gain more than he has to give her; the salvation of her 
soul she views of far more importance than all that ; the 
Lord Jesus she must seek and hazard all consequences. I 
understand that her husband has really fulfilled his threat, 
and we humbly trust that He who said 'he that loveth father 
or mother, son or daughter, husband or wife more than Me 
is not worthy of Me' will strengthen her to take up her 
cross and bear it. She is about 50 years old." 

Red Jacket carried out his threat, repudiated his wife and 
plunged deeper than ever into dissolute dissipation. It is 
worthy of note, however, that before his death he returned 
to his wife and to her home, where he ended his days, un- 
reconciled, however, to the last that his people should have 
departed from the pagan faith and pagan customs of their 
ancestors. May 20, 1827, Mr. Harris tells us that there 
were at that time 70 or 80 scholars at the mission school 
and adds, "It is our intention if the Lord will and provided 
they pursue the subject until they are able to read, to at- 
tempt a translation of certain parts of the Sacred Scriptures 
into their language." The first results of this worthy inten- 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 153 

tion were seen in the translation of the Sermon on the Mount 
which was published in 1829, as before noted, by the Ameri- 
can Tract Society, together with the 29 hymns translated 
by Mr. Young. In November, 1829, the Gospel of St. Luke, 
translated by Mr. Harris into Seneca, was also published by 
the American Tract Society in an edition of 1,000 copies. 

It is much to be regretted that with the exception of a 
few scattering leaves the journal of Mr. Harris subsequent 
to 1827 cannot be found and that similar journals were not 
written by his successors. Further details of the Seneca 
Mission for the most part only can be found in the scanty 
notes published at times in the columns of the Missionary 
Herald. In 1828 Mr. Harris reported : "The chiefs and 
people resolved to build a small chapel to cost $1700.00 by 
subscription among themselves, to be 41 by 51 ft., one story, 
arched ceiling, vestibule, small tower, cupola, bell and etc. : 
to be painted and to hold 460 persons : to be paid for 
$1000.00 in cash and the rest in lumber."* February 19, 
1829, his report states that "many of the people are away 
furnishing lumber for the meeting house."! This was the 
old Seneca church painted white, with belfry and bell, which 
stood until recent years north of Seneca Street, in about the 
middle of what is now called the Indian Church Road, near 
the old Indian Cemetery. Its completion is thus noted in the 
Buffalo Patriot: ''The new meeting house at the Seneca 
Mission near Buffalo was dedicated to the worship of Al- 
mighty God on Wednesday, August 19th [1829]. Rev. T. 
S. Harris, Supt. preached from Genesis xxviii.-i7. ["This 
is none other but the house of God and this is the gate of 
heaven."] Rev. S. Eaton of Buffalo and Rev. Hiram Smith 
of Collins assisted. Singing by the natives. Cost little 
more than $1600.00 and (except about $270.00) was de- 
frayed by the Indians."* 

By reason of some dissatisfaction which had arisen 

* Missionary Herald, Vol. 24, p. 150. 

^Missionary Herald, Vol. 25, p. 215. 

vAfj'ssionary Herald, Vol. 25. P- 334. When the Senecas were forced to abandon 
the Buffalo Reservation, 1843-4, the building was suffered to fall into decay, and 
was finally blown down. The gilded arrow which was its weather-vane is now 
preserved by the Buffalo Historical Society. 



154 SEXECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

among- the Christian Indians, Mr. Harris resigned from their 
ministry June 28, 1830, and for some months the mission 
was in charge of Mr. Hanover Bradley, the steward and 
catechist. By the records of the American Board it would 
appear that at this time Rev. Hiram Smith, Rev. Joseph 
Lane and Rev. John Elliot were in service there for short 
periods, but no details of their services are preserved. 

On the 9th of November, 1831, began the long ministry 
of Rev. Asher Wright, which lasted for forty-four years 
and until his death, April 13, 1875. To this life work of 
devotion to the spiritual and mental elevation of an alien 
race he brought rare qualities of mind and heart, an un- 
tiring patience, a gentleness of soul with a firmness of pur- 
pose that endeared him to the people to whom he ministered, 
so that by those of that ministry who still live and by the 
children of those who have passed away, his name and mem- 
ory are still held in an enduring affection. 

He was born at Hanover, N. H., in 1803, and had but 
just graduated from Andover Seminary. He brought his 
young wife (Martha Egerton of Randolph, Yt.,) with him, 
but two months after their arrival she died and January 21, 
1833, he married again. His second wife, Laura M. Shel- 
don of St. Johnsbury, Yt., (born 1809) was well suited to 
be his helpmeet and the sharer of his labors. This gentle 
soul became no less than he, a missionary in the truest sense 
of the word. Especially was she devoted to the welfare, 
physical, mental and moral, of the Indian women and the 
Indian children with whom henceforth her life was passed. 
They became her people who loved her as she loved them. 
For their good no self-sacrifice upon her part was too great. 
No one in suffering or need, in distress of body or sorrow 
of soul ever appealed to her in vain, and her earnest labors 
in works of charity and love bore rich and lasting fruit. 
She outlived her husband many years, but her endeavors 
for those she too had learned to love never ceased until her 
death, January 21, 1886. Those of us who were so for- 
tunate as to know her in her later years, gentle and kindly 
in her wavs and venerable with, the snows of age, remember 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 155 

that sweet face as one would remember the features of a 
saint. 

The coming of Mr. Wright to the Seneca Mission 
brought immediate results. In 1832, thirty-five new mem- 
bers were added to the little church, among whom were the 
celebrated chiefs, Young King, Captain Billy and Destroy 
Town : among them also was an Indian youth, James 
Young, educated at the Mission School, who evidently had 
taken the name of his instructor, the first schoolmaster, and 
is mentioned by Mr. Wright as "James Young, the scholar 
who aided Brother Harris in his translation of the Gospel 
of St. Luke."* 

The building, still preserved (1903) and known to us as 
the "old Mission House" which stands on the west side of 
Buffum Street, north of Seneca and diagonally opposite to 
the former Indian Cemetery, was built after Mr. Wright's 
arrival at the station. Mrs. Martha E. Parker, widow of 
Nicholson H. Parker, and Mrs. Wright's favorite niece, who 
came to join the mission family in 1836, when as a girl of 
fifteen she was adopted by her aunt, states that this building 
was erected in 1833. Mrs. Parker is still living on the Cat- 
taraugus Reservation and although she is well past eighty 
years of age, her memory is very clear and stores up many 
reminiscences of those early days of the Seneca Mission. 
The earlier buildings have disappeared, but this remains in 
good condition throughout and is so closely associated with 
interesting features of our local history that if possible it 
should be preserved. 

For thirteen years after its erection the Senecas retained 
their lands on the Buffalo Creek and during all that time 
the mission house was the center of all the formative civil- 
izing influences which helped to advance these Indians to- 
ward self-helpful and better lives. Plere their children were 
taught farm and garden work as well as to read and to 
write English ; here the' Indian women and girls were 
taught to spin and weave, to knit and to sew ; and here all 
heard the message of the Gospel as it was told them by Mr. 
Wright and those who were his helpers. 

"Missionary Herald, Vol. 2$, p. 407. 



156 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

It was soon after Mrs. Wright's coming- to the Seneca 
Mission in 1833 that she saw the famous captive Mary 
Jemison, the "White Woman of the Genesee." She was on 
her death bed and grieved at heart because she could not 
remember the prayer she had learned at her mother's knee. 
On the night of their capture her mother had told her that 
she thought she herself would be killed, but her child's life 
might be spared and bade her never to forget her name or 
her childhood's prayer. In the weary years of a long life 
among the strange people that had become her own, it had 
been forgotten, but when Mrs. Wright kneeled at her side 
and repeated the Lord's prayer, the memories of childhood 
returned and the tears streamed clown the aged, furrowed 
cheeks as she said, "That is the prayer my mother taught 
me." 

Scarcely less touching was the story of that other cap- 
tive, the old White Chief, as told by Mrs. Wright. He was 
the father of Seneca White, John Seneca and White Seneca, 
and as Mr. Harris's journal relates, Father White had been 
an early friend of the Mission, becoming himself a Christian 
and adopting in his age the ways of civilized life as did his 
children. He had been, Mrs. Wright says, very tall with a 
fine, erect form, and delicate features. He was naturally 
very white, and when young had long brown hair, although 
when the missionaries first saw him it was white as snow. 
He was amiable and affectionate in disposition and the In- 
dians testified that his whole life had been remarkably up- 
right. He told Mrs. Wright his story and she recorded it 
in the simple, pathetic way in which it was told. He was a 
very small child when he was made captive and it was but 
natural that growing up among the Senecas, he had be- 
come, as Mary Jemison had become, bone of their bone and 
flesh of their flesh. He could remember his mother, but he 
had never been able to learn who his parents were or where 
they had lived, save that it was in the Susquehanna Vallev. 
When he became a Christian he was much impressed with 
the thought that this had been the religion of his parents 
and kindred and that he might now be able to find in an- 
other world the friends from whom he had been separated 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 157 

in this. When he was dying he sent in haste for Mr. and 
Mrs. Wright who found him in tears : "One thing," said 
he, "gives me great uneasiness. I understand no language 
but the Indian. I am afraid when I go into the other world 
that I shall not be able to communicate with my own white 
friends, because I shall not understand their language." 

The missionaries comforted him by their assurances that 
in heaven one would be understood by all and that all would 
be the children of God, and so brought peace to his troubled 
soul as it fared forth on that last great journey.* 

In those years both Mr. and Mrs. Wright travelled on 
horseback through the swamps and forests on their errands 
of mercy, carrying in their saddlebags the food and medi- 
cine for which need had arisen, visiting the log cabins of 
the Indians or the distant log school houses which had been 
built at Onondaga village, Jack Berry's town and elsewhere, 
where the assistants, Asenath Bishop, Rebecca Xewhall and 
Phoebe Seidell, lived and taught. It must have been lonely 
housekeeping, for some of them were miles away from the 
mission house, but once a week on Friday evening, all gath- 
ered at that central station and spent the night there ; and 
Mrs. Parker, then Martha Hoyt, who was the housekeeper, 
was like Martha of old, "troubled about many things" in 
the limitations of a self-denying housekeeping, where bread, 
pork and potatoes were the prevailing diet and where tea, 
coffee, pies, cake, sugar and asparagus were forbidden lux- 
uries that "were not allowed in the house." Eggs were not 
excluded as sinful luxuries, but think of custards without 
sugar ! or of a "warm drink" made with hemlock tips !t 
She says that the big Dutch oven was kept very busy baking 
for the weekly gathering so that there might be an abund- 
ance for the Friday supper and that the faithful teachers 
might be able to take some good biscuit back with them 
when they returned to their own solitary housekeeping on 
Saturday morning. 

Mr. Wright had a natural aptitude for linguistic study 
and, it is- said, was master of seven languages. Fie soon ac- 

*H. S. Caswell, "Our Life Among the Iroquois," pp. S3-56. 
tCaswell, " Our Life Among the Iroquois," p. 23. 



-—-«' — '- ' —• -~- - ■ v m 



158 SEX EC A MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

quired a familiarity with the Seneca tongue and under his 
instruction his wife, like himself, became adept in its use. 
They overcame its difficulties so that Mr. Wright was able 
to preach to his dusky flock in their own speech. One of 
his noteworthy labors was the elaboration of a peculiar sys- 
tem of orthography for the written language with its various 
accents, more perfect in this respect than that which had 
been used by Mr. Hyde and Mr. Harris, and the first book 
printed in this way was a small primer in paper covers 7 by 
^y 2 inches in size, prepared at Boston in 1836 for the use 
of the mission school. A literal translation of the Seneca 
title page is : "Beginning Book, Mrs. Wright she wrote. 
Mr. Jimerson he translated. The old men they printed. 
Boston their reside at, 1836." They keenly felt the need of 
printing facilities that should be near at hand and under 
their own control and the way opening by which they were 
enabled to procure a hand printing press, in 1841 Mr. 
Wright installed the Mission Press, equipped with fonts of 
especially prepared type for printing books and papers in 
the Seneca tongue. Mr. Benjamin C. Van Duzee came in 
that year to reside at the mission house and was employed 
as a printer. The press was set up in a "lean-to" attached 
to the house and its earliest publication was the first number 
of a small eight-page periodical entitled "Ne Jaguhnigoages- 
gwathah," "The Mental Elevator," which thus began its 
career November 30, 1841. This first number states on its 
last page: "This paper is printed at the Seneca Mission 
Station. It is the first effort of the sort in the Seneca lan- 
guage and is designed exclusively for the spiritual and in- 
tellectual benefit of the Indians. Will not Christian friends 
aid us with their prayers?" 

Of the Mental Elevator nineteen eight-page numbers 
were printed in all. They appeared at irregular intervals, 
nine of them having been printed at the Buffalo Creek Res- 
ervation, the ninth number bearing date April 1, 1845. ^ n 
1846, when the Buffalo Creek Reservation was given up, the 
press was removed to the Cattaraugus Reservation, where it 
continued in its useful work, and there ten more numbers 
of the Mental Elevator were published, the first at the Cat- 



. SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 159 

taraugus station, being Number 10, June 3, 1846, and the 
final issue, Number 19, April 15, 1850. In this series was 
published a translation into Seneca of the first eight chap- 
ters of Genesis and part of the ninth, also the 19th and 20th 
chapters of Exodus, the Epistle General of St. James and 
some shorter passages of Scripture. Xo. 2 contains the 
Lord's Prayer in Tuscarora verse ; No. 4 gives the Seneca 
version ot Dr. YYatts's hymn, "Go, preach my gospel," etc. 
Numbers 6, 8, 9. 10, 15 and 19 contain articles in Seneca 
with the English on the opposite page ; and a few notices, 
obituaries, etc., in English occur. 

Among the publications of the Mission Press while at 
the Buffalo Creek Reservation, the following are known : 

Go'-wana-gwa'-he'- sat'-hah Yon-de'-yas-dah'-gwah. A 
Spelling Book in the Seneca Language with English defini- 
tions. Buffalo Creek Reservation, Mission Press, 1842. 

Regarding this Mrs. Wright wrote in 1855 *• "This work 
is still unfinisiied. These sheets contain the definitions of 
several hundred Seneca words and a tolerably complete ex- 
planation of the grammatical principles of the language, ex- 
cept the verb. In respect to the verb no complete analysis 
has yet been effected nor is there much reason to expect the 
accomplishment of this object until some competent Seneca 
scholar shall have become a universal grammarian." 

In 1843 the Mission Press issued a new edition (the 
third) of the Seneca Hymn Book which had originally been 
prepared by Rev. T. S. Harris and James Young. It was 
now enlarged to contain ill hymns and was a small book 
5/^2 by 3 T /2 inches in size, bound in sheep covers. In 1844 
Mr. Wright published a small sixteen-page pamphlet con- 
taining such portions of the Revised Statutes as related to 
gambling, horse-racing, profanity, disturbance of the peace, 
etc., stating in his preface that it was done to encourage his 
people "to act the part of sober and respectable inhabitants 
of a civilized community." Its title is: ''Extracts from the 
Revised Statutes of the State of New York, Volume I. 
Part I. Chapter XX, Title VIII. Of the Prevention and 
punishment of immorality and disorderly practices. Seneca 
Mission Press, 1844." 



160 SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 

In 1846 when the Buffalo Creek Mission was finally 
closed, the Mission Press was taken by Mr. Wright to the 
Cattaraugus Reservation, where, as has been noted, the pub- 
lication of the Mental Elevator was continued and other 
pamphlets and books were issued. Among these were the 
gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark in pamphlet form, 
8 by 5 inches, without covers and without date. Air. Van 
Duzee went with the press to the Cattaraugus and while he 
remained as printer, there was issued in February, 1847, 
'The First Book for Indian Schools. Printed at the Mis- 
sion Press, Cattaraugus Reservation, 1847.'' This little 
book, 53/2 by 3^ inches in size, in paper covers, contains in 
its J2 pages a thoughtful preface by Mr. Wright explaining 
some of the difficulties in teaching Indian children ; a series 
of lessons for their use and a number of English poems. 
Mr. Van Duzee was soon succeeded by another printer, Air. 
H. M. Morgan. Then the press was taken to Gowanda. 
where Mr. Morgan printed a still later edition of the Seneca 
Hymn Book in a cloth-bound volume, 6x4 inches, (with- 
out date) containing 232 pages and about 129 hymns, also 
a series of periodical pamphlets containing selections from 
Scripture and hymns in the Seneca tongue. 

The press was finally destroyed by fire while still at Go- 
wanda. 

The treaty of Buffalo Creek, January 15, 1838, as 
amended June 11, 1838, ratified by the United States Senate 
and proclaimed by President Van Buren in April, 1839, 
came very near accomplishing the removal of all the Indians 
of the Buffalo Creek and the other Western New York res- 
ervations from the State. So much dishonest corruption 
had entered into this sale of these reservations to the Ogden 
Land Company, that the strenuous efforts of those who ex- 
posed the frauds practiced, especially the endeavors of the 
Society of Friends in Philadelphia and Baltimore, finally 
resulted in the compromise treaty of May 20, 1842, by which 
the Senecas retained the Allegheny and Cattaraugus lands, 
giving up the Buffalo Creek and Tonawanda reservations 
to the Ogden Land Company, although the Tonawanda 
Senecas ultimately regained their land by purchase. It had 



1 




MRS. ASHER WRIGHT. 



SENECA MISSION AT BUFFALO CREEK. 161 

been a trying time for the missionaries, who had used every 
exertion to aid the more honest of the chiefs in their hard- 
fought struggle. The four years which followed the treaty 
of 1842 were years of bitterness while the removal of the 
Indians to the Cattaraugus and the Allegheny was being ef- 
fected. Mr. and Mrs. Wright with the mission family re- 
mained at the Seneca station until 1846, when they, too, 
with saddened hearts followed their people to the upper sta- 
tion on the Cattaraugus Reservation to continue their self- 
sacrificing labors there to their life's end. 

With their departure the story of the Seneca Mission at 
Buffalo Creek ends. Fifty-seven years have gone by since 
that day and have wrought wonderful changes. A great 
city now includes within its borders what were then the 
forests and swamps of the Indian reservation and with its 
well-built streets unheedingly stretches beyond the humble 
borders of that old time mission. The spreading trees of 
walnut and oak which even then shaded the mission bury- 
ing-ground, are still preserved within its deserted enclosure, 
but the bones of Red Jacket, of Pollard, Young King, Mary 
Jemison and of all those once famous in council or in war 
who at last slept beneath their branches, have been taken 
thence and the place that knew them in life and in death 
now knows them no more. The old mission house alone 
still stands, a witness to the self-sacrifice and devotion to 
works of mercy, charity and love of those who labored there 
in days long since gone by and with unselfish hearts and 
humble souls, without hope of other reward than His, 
sought only to do their Master's bidding:. 



NARRATIVES OF 



EARLY MISSION WORK 

ON THE NIAGARA FRONTIER AND 
BUFFALO CREEK. 



I. The Quakers among the Senegas. 

II. Jacob Lindley's Journal, 1797. 

III. Visits of Rev. David Bacon, i 800-1 801. 

IV. Letters of Rev. Elkanah Holmes, 1800. 
V. Visit of Rev. Lemuel Covell, 1803. 

VI. Visit of Gerard T. Hopkins, 1804. 

VII. Visit of Rev. Joseph Avery, 1805. 

VIII. Visit of Rev. Roswell Burrows, 1806. 

IX. A Teacher among the Senecas: Experiences 
^ of Jabez Backus Hyde, 1811-1820. 

X. Narrative of Esther Rutgers Low, 1819-1820. 

XL Journals of Rev. Thompson S. Harris, 1821- 
1828. 

XII. The Seneca Mission Church Register, 1823- 
1848. 




REV. JOHN OGILVIE, D. D. 



First Protestant Minister to Visit the Niagara Region ( 1 759 1 . 

From the Original Painting by Copley. Owned by the Corporation of Trinity 

Church. New York. 



NARRATIVES 0/ EARLY MISSION WORK 
ON THE NIAGARA AND BUFFALO CREEK 



I. 

QUAKERS AMONG THE SENECAS, 



By FRANK H. SEVERANCE. 

The first visit of a Protestant missionary to the region 
of Buffalo Creek and the Niagara, of which we find record, 
was that of Rev. Samuel Kirkland, in the summer of 1788.* 
"His object in this journey was to ascertain, and furnish to 
the Board of Commissioners in Boston, a particular account 
of the situation and numbers of the Senecas, their disposi- 
tion towards the Christian religion, the prospects of useful- 
ness to a missionary residing among them, and also to be 
present, by invitation and request, at a treaty to be held in 
their country." ("Life of Samuel Kirkland," by Samuel K. 
Lothrop, Boston, 1848; p. 281.) He reached the Seneca 

*A distinguished Protestant missionary had visited the Niagara in Johnson's 
army in irsg, hut as his coming hither was apparently in the capacity of chaplain to 
the British troops, and not as a missionary to the Indians, it would be hardly per- 
missible to begin the record with him. This was the Rev. John Ogilvie, a native of 
New York, and a graduate of Yale College. Being a Dutch scholar, he had been 
appointed to the mission at Albany in 1848, going thither the following year. In 
connection with his parish work, he was active for many years as a missionary 
among the Mohawks. He was a favorite with Sir William Johnson, who in 1756 
asked the Lords of Trade to grant him an increase of salary. In 1755-56 we find him 
often in attendance at councils at Fort Johnson. He joined the expedition against 
Niagara, and remained with the army until the close of the war. He it undoubtedly 
was who officiated at the burial of Prideaux at Fort Niagara, being the first Protes- 
tant clergyman to conduct religious services on the banks of the Niagara. He be- 
came rector of Trinity Church. New York, and shared in translating into Mohawk 
the Book of Common Prayer. He died Nov. 26, 1774, aged 51. Our engraving is 
from an oil portrait by Copley, owned by the Corporation of Trinity Church. 

165 



166 THE QUAKERS AMONG THE SEN EC AS. 

village on Buffalo Creek, June 26, 1788. His personal re- 
ception was cordial, but the Senecas showed no desire for 
his form of gospel ministration; "they preferred," says 
Lothrop, "an Episcopal or Roman Catholic, who would bap- 
tise their children without any evidence of personal regen- 
eration in the parents." Mr. Kirkland was a Calvinist, and 
his earlier missionary work among the Oneidas, and the 
Senecas at Kanadesaga (near the present town of Geneva, 
New York), was carried on, as at this time, under the aus- 
pices of the "Board of Correspondents, in the Colony of 
Connecticut, New England, appointed and commissioned by 
the Honorable Society in Scotland for propagating Chris- 
tian Knowledge," the first Protestant organization, appar- 
ently, to concern itself with missionary work in our region.* 
Mr. Kirkland's visit in 1788 was partly to promote a pro- 
ject of union among Indian tribes ; this came to naught, nor 
is there trace of any further missionary work among the 
Senecas for some years. 

The first work for moral and social betterment among the 
Indians of Western New York, which can be regarded as 
bearing fruit, was done by the Society of Friends. As early 
as 1 791, his confidence won by the friendliness of Quakers 
whom he met while on a visit to Philadelphia, Cornplanter 
had proposed that they take two Seneca boys to educate. 
This request turned the attention of the Quakers particu- 
larly to the Senecas on the Western New York reservations. 
Sacarese (various spellings) was chief sachem of the Tus- 
caroras at this period, and a man of distinction in the 
especial phase of the history of this region which we are 
here presenting. In 1794 he attended a treaty at Canan- 
daigua, where he met four Friends from Philadelphia. In 
William Savery's Journal the following record of this meet- 
ing is found: "29th [Oct.]. Sagareesa, or the Sword-car- 
rier, visited us : he appears to be a thoughtful man, and 
mentioned a desire he had, that some of our young men 
might come among them as teachers : we supposed he meant 
as schoolmasters and artisans. Perhaps this intimation mav 



*For an account of earlier visits by Catholic missionaries, see "Old Trails 
on the Niagara Frontier," by Frank H. Severance. 



THE QUAKERS AMONG THE SEN EC AS. 107 

be so made use of in a future day, that great good may ac- 
crue to the poor Indians, if some religious young men of 
our Society could, from a sense of duty, be induced to spend 
some time among them, either as schoolmasters or me- 
chanics." It is, therefore, to Cornplanter, the Seneca, and 
to Sacarese, the Tuscarora, that credit is due for the first 
suggestion that resulted after some years in the Quaker es- 
tablishments on the Alleghany, Cattaraugus and Tuscarora 
reservations. 

In 1795 a committee was appointed by the Yeariy Meet- 
ing of Friends of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, etc., "for pro- 
moting the improvement and gradual civilization of the In- 
dian natives."* Acting under this plan, in May, 1798, three 
Friends came among the Senecas at the Cornplanter reser- 
vation on the Alleghany, obtained permission to settle, and 
entered upon the work of secular teaching, and helping the 
Indians to better agricultural methods and ways of living; 
but there was little, if any, religious instruction, which — as 
appears from some of the journals printed in the following 
pages — won for these devoted and practical Quakers the 
disapproval of later missionaries on Buffalo Creek. The 
Friends on the Alleghany located at an ancient village 
called Genesangohta, near the line dividing New York and 
Pennsylvania, and nearly in the center of the Indian settle- 
ments on the Alleghany ; their largest town, called Jenesha- 
dago, being nine miles below, some fifteen miles above the 
present site of Warren, Pa. There they and their successors 
continued to reside and teach even to the present day. 

In 1799 "Friends went from this settlement to the Cata- 
rogus [Cattaraugus] River, distant about forty-five miles, 
where a large number of Senecas reside, who had requested 
a set of sawmill irons and other aid. The chief being gen- 
erally from home, a letter was left with a white man at Buf- 
faloe, who has been adopted into their nation, informing 
them that a set of sawmill irons would be given them when 

•"Proceedings of the Committee appointed in the year 1-95 by the Yearly 
Meeting of Friends of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, &-c, for promoting the Im- 
provement and Gradual Civilization of the Indian Natives." Second Ed., Phil., 
1805. 



168 THE QUAKERS AMONG THE SENEGAS. 

they were prepared to build a mill; and if they left off their 
very intemperate use of strong drink it might be some en- 
couragement to help them further."* In 1801 the Friends 
report that "the resolution against the introduction of strong 
liquor [on the Alleghany] continues to be supported and it 
is said the Indians of Buffaloe Creek have also made some 
stand against it." To these Quaker brothers, beginning 
with the good counsel of Jacob Lindley at Buffalo in 1797, 
as appears from his journal, following — is to be credited 
the first movement for temperance among the Senecas since 
the Abbe Piquet had preached against the traders' brandy 
at Fort Niagara in 175 1. 

In 1803, "Friends visited the Senecas at Buffalo Creek, 
and found a saw mill just finished, for which we had sup- 
plied them with the irons ; a visit was also made to the 
Tonewantas. At both places, and particularly the latter, 
many had left off the use of whiskey and other strong drink, 
and were improving in habits of industry." 

In 1793, John Parrish, William Savery, John Elliott, 
Jacob Lindley, Joseph Moore and William Hartshorne, 
Quakers, were deputized by the Friends' "Meeting for Suf- 
ferings," and with the approval of President Washington, 
to attend a treaty to be held at Sandusky. With John 
Heckewelder, the famous Moravian missionary, they 
reached Fort Niagara May 25th, and on June 5th sailed 
from Fort Erie. Returning, they were again at Fort Erie 
Aug. 22(\, and Messrs. Lindley, Elliott, Moore, and Parrish 
(John the Quaker, not Jasper the interpreter) made a "re- 
ligious visit" to Friends on the Canadian side of the Niag- 
ara. The best account of this tour is given in the "Journal" 
of William Savery [London, 1844]. Although some of 
these Friends engaged in religious and missionary work on 
the Niagara at this time, it is not recorded that they visited 
the Senecas on Buffalo Creek. Four years later Jacob 
Lindley again visited the region, and met the Indians on 
Buffalo Creek. His journal of this visit is the first of the 
collection that follows. 

•"Proceedings Yearly Meeting of Friends," etc., Philadelphia, 1805. 



II. IACOB LINDLEY'S JOURNAL. 



HIS ACCOUNT OF HIS RELIGIOUS VISIT TO THE 

FRIENDS IN CANADA, AND TO INDIANS ON 

BUFFALO CREEK, IN 1797.* 



On the 13th of the ioth month, 1797, I parted with my 
dear wife and children, and in company with my beloved 
friend and fellow-traveller, James Wilson, proceededt to 
George Valentine's. We spent the evening at Joshua Bald- 
win's, in company with Jesse Kersey, Isaac Coates and wife, 
John Baldwin and wife, and Moses Mendenhall. Here also 
we met with our mutually endeared friend, and companion 
in the journey, Joshua Sharpless. Next day, went to John 
Scarlet's, in the Forest, where we dined, and then resumed 
our journey over a rough road, up the Schuylkill to Read- 
ing, and thence to Maiden creek. Lodged at Thomas Light- 
foot's ; and on the 15th, attended Maiden creek meeting, 
where we were, I humbly hope, owned of the Master, and 
refreshed together. Here we met our other companions, 

*Several families of Friends had settled in Canada, mostly in the Niagara 
district and around the west end of Lake Ontario, about the year 1792. There 
had been subsequent emigration to this section from Pennsylvania and New 
jersey. In T797 the Yearly Meeting at Philadelphia sent a deputation to visit 
these Friends and enquire into their condition, material and spiritual. James 
V\ ilson, three others and Jacob Lindley performed the journey, and it is the 
latter's account of it that we here print. lie had been on the Niagara four 
years previously, as we have shown {01/?, p. i63.) Another committee, con- 
sisting of Isaac Coates, William Blakey and others, made a similar visit in 1799. 

t From Philadelphia. 

i6g 



170 JACOB LINDLEY'S JOURNAL. 

Oliver Paxson and James Langstaff. After a short time 
spent in religious retirement, at our kind friends, John an.! 
Eunice Starr's, we set out, five in number, accompanied by 
our friend Samuel Lee, as a guide ; and pursued our jour- 
ney up the various windings of the Schuylkill, up hill and 
down, and along the side of the Blue mountain ; — viewing 
the awful works of the Almighty, in the great disphy of his 
wisdom and power, in the visible creation. 

16th [Oct.]. Set out early, and rode over the second 
Blue Ridge, Tuscarora, Locust, Mahonoy, Broad, and Little 
mountains ; and so passed into Roaring creek valley, in 
view, frequently, of majestic, high, towering mountains, 
and awfully tremendous, deep vallies. The most of the 
way very stony, and tiresome for man and beast ; yet some- 
what alleviated by the wonderfully variegated prospect of 
nature's capacious garden, — far exceeding Solomon's archi- 
tecture, in all its glory. Lodged at Catawissa ; and next 
day crossed the north branch of Susquehanna, and rode to 
Jesse Haines's, at Fishing creek, where we dined. Then 
resumed our journey, and rode to our truly hospitable 
friends, William and Mercy Ellis's, where we met with a 
kind reception. 

1 8th. Took leave of William Ellis's family, and went on 
to the widow Harris's, where we were gladly received, and 
dined on venison ; the young men having killed three deer 
the preceding day. In the afternoon, proceeded along a 
champaign road to Lycoming, then took a northerly route, 
pursuing the meanders of the stream, along rich vallies, 
abounding with exceeding lofty pines, button-wood, &c. 
Arrived at Kyle's before sunset, having passed through two 
little towns, one on the east side of Lycoming creek, called 
by that name, and the other on the west side, called New- 
berry. Next day, being fourth of the week, we set out about 
break of day. Our dextrous landlord, Kyle, had lately faced 
a wounded bear, that was in full pursuit of him. He 
jumped over a large log, and when the bear rose upon ir. 
he turned, and struck him in the breast with his knife, and 
killed him. We travelled a rich valley for seven or eight 
miles, then ascended and descended several formidable Al- 



VISIT TO BUFFALO CREEK, 1797- 171 

leghany hills, over mire and stone, and round about huge 
trees, that had been blown up by the roots, eighteen miles, to 
the Block-house. Refreshed there, and went on, over very 
miry, stony, rough, rocky and hilly roads, to Peter's camp, 
a feeding place on Tioga river. Thence descending Tioga 
branch, our road was much improved, through exceeding 
rich vallies, amid as high towering pines and hemlocks as I 
ever beheld. The man where we lodged said he had meas- 
ured them upwards of two hundred feet in height. 

Thence we proceeded down the Tioga, crossed the 
Cownesky, Canistiere, and Cohocton, each larger than 
Brandywine, and wonderfully adapted to bring the amazing 
hemlocks, pines, and other produce, to markets on the tide 
waters. After ascending and descending a very formidable 
sprag of the Alleghany mountain, we arrived at Dolson's, 
on Mud creek. Lodged there, and next morning, set out 
very early, and rode five miles to William Kersey's, to 
breakfast. His house is on the bank of Bath lake, remark- 
able for having no inlet, nor outlet, covering about forty 
acres surface, always clear, and abounding with fish, having 
twenty-five or thirty feet depth of water. Proceeded to 
Bath, a thriving village ; — had an interview with Judge 
Williamson, and entered my protest against horse-racing, 
and exhibition of plays, which were commencing there. 
Then resumed our journey, on a north-east course, over 
some bad swamps, to the head of Crooked lake, about 
twenty miles long, and perhaps three or four broad, situated 
amongst a number of elevated hills. We proceeded along 
the east side, through an exceeding rich soil. Here we saw 
a wild bear, the first I ever beheld. Rode hard through 
many deep sloughs, and round trees, fallen across the road, 
till after dark, when we arrived near the north-east end of 
Crooked lake, where the company of Jemima Wilkinson 
have a mill. Tarried all night at Thomas Lee's, a kind 
friendly family. 

22nd. Being first-day, we had a meeting with the fam- 
ily and about twenty or thirty friendly people, to a good de- 
gree of satisfaction. After dining, we set out, and rode nine 
miles to Judge Powell's, who lives in a great house. Next 



172 JACOB LINDLEY'S JOURNAL. 

day we met an Indian on the road, and proceeded on to Job 
Howland's, his wife a Friend, and he a friendly man. Had 
an opportunity in his family and lodged there. 

On the 24th, we visited Nathan Comstock's family. He 
had six goodly children. Then proceeded to Abraham Lap- 
ham's, and had a solid opportunity in his family. Next day, 
had a meeting at Nathan Herringdon's, which was attended 
by forty or fifty solid people ; and ended to a good degree of 
satisfaction, though the life and power of the gospel did 
not rise so high, as I have experienced it, at some times. 
Returned to Nathan Comstock's to lodge, and had a solid 
opportunity in the family. On fifth-day had an appointed 
meeting at this place, where Truth rose into a comfortable 
degree of dominion ; for which, our souls did praise the 
Lord, our helper. After the public meeting, we had the pro- 
fessors of Truth selected, — among whom were Abraham 
Lapham and Esther his wife, John Howland and wife, Jere- 
miah Smith, his wife and her son, Caleb Mackumber, a 
promising young friend, Jared and Otis Comstock, and 
their wives, with old Nathan and Mary Comstock, and 
divers other young people, with whom we had a close, 
searching season. After which we rode to Jacob Smith's, 
on Mud creek. Tarried there all night, and were hospitably 
entertained. We had a satisfactory religious opportunitv 
in the family, together with some others. 

27th. Set out, and travelled on twenty-five miles to 
Berry's, on Genesee river. The road generally good. 
Passed a number of well-improved farms, with good frame 
houses and barns, — sometimes two and three in a mile. 
We frequently met some of the poor natives, which always 
awakened my sympathy on beholding them. The country is 
generally fertile for grass and grain, abounding with num- 
bers of stately oxen, fine sheep, and milch cattle. The house- 
wives being generally Rhode Islanders. Connecticut, and 
Bay State people, have large dairies, and make excellent 
cheese. This country is abundantly adapted for grazing, a 
vast proportion of it being low and exceeding rich bottoms. 

When we arrived at Genessee. no provender was to be 
had ; so we had to turn aside to several farm-houses, to seek 



VISIT TO BUFFALO CREEK, 1797. 173 

horse feed. After crossing the river, it was late ; and worse 
than that, we took a wrong path, just entering the wilder- 
ness, and went a mile and a half — so had to return, and it 
raining, we had seven miles to steer along a small path, 
sometimes hard beset to make it out, to the Big Spring, 
where we arrived about half past seven, to a very smoky 
cabin, kept by a genteel German bachelor. Turned our 
horses out, and the floor was our bed. 

28th of the month, and seventh of the week, set out at 
break of day, to encounter the waste, desert, howling wil- 
derness. It snowed most of the day. The path was small 
through the woods, abounding with beech timber ; the lim- 
ber branches of which bowed across our path with the 
weight of snow, and wet us much, which made it very dis- 
agreeable. Added to this, twelve miles of the way was 
through swamps and sloughs of water, among roots and 
logs, terrifying to the horse and his rider to encounter. In 
the evening, got to firmer ground, and rode several miles. 
At length, perceived a large rock, under whose shadow, we 
proposed to take sanctuary for the night ; having rode up- 
wards of forty miles. My horse lost a shoe, just entering 
the miry road, and would not eat feed, which made it an ex- 
ceedingly discouraging, trying day, to both body and mind. 
We attempted to get fire, but did not succeed. The snow 
blowed in under the ledge of our venerable mansion, and 
the night being cold, made it truly a suffering season. I 
durst not look back to Xew Garden, the contrast was so 
great; yet some discouraging thoughts would irresistably 
dart in upon my mind, with a language, what if thou should 
die here, and return no more. But a small degree of sus- 
taining faith was vouchsafed, to resign the will. 

29th. First-day. Glad to see the light of the returning 
day, we left the shadow of our mighty rock, and set for- 
ward, with my lame and tired horse. Met several poor In- 
dians in the woods, and were overtaken by six men, who 
crossed the Genessee twelve hours before us. We crossed 
the great plains, the path generally good, and arrived at 
Buffaloe creek before sunset. Xext day crossed the river, 
and rode twelve miles to Asa Schooler's in Canada. Ar- 



174 JACOB LINDLEY'S JOURNAL. 

rived there with thankful hearts, and met a kind reception 
from them, their children and neighbours who came in ; 
several of whom remembered my former visit here. 

31st. Visited four families, Joseph and Anna Marsh, 
Daniel and Patience Pound, John and Mary Herrit, and 
John Cutler's. Next day, visited the remainder of profes- 
sors about Black creek, Adam and Sarah Burril, Joseph and 
Anna Stevens, Abram Webster's and Joseph Haven's. The 
day following, we attended a meeting at Asa Schooley's, to 
a good degree of satisfaction ; then went eight miles to 
visit Obadiah Dennis, and his parents, and returned the 
same evening. 

3rd of nth month. Took our journey down Niagara 
river. Passed the great falls, — the day being dark, smoky, 
and wet, we made no stay to satisfy curiosity; but the 
transient view and awful voice impressed ideas at the ma- 
jesty of heaven. In the evening, arrived at William 
Lundy's, and next day visited Jeremy Moore's family, and 
Benjamin Hill's. Went to our friend John Hill's, who re- 
ceived us kindly — we found him and family in a tender 
frame of spirit. 

First-day, the 5th. A meeting was held at John Hill's, 
amongst a number of Friends and neighbours, to a good 
degree of satisfaction. It was a contriting season, through 
heavenly regard, mercifully extended. Next day visited 
four families, and the day following had an appointed meet- 
ing at John Taylor's. A number collected, and it was a fa- 
voured season. 

8th. Took leave of the Short Hills settlement ; — the 
weather cloudy, and snow falling daily for several days 
past, occasions us some awful thoughts, when, or whether 
ever, we are to see our dear connexions again. Here ap- 
pears some hope of a meeting being opened. Rode eighteen 
miles, and lodged at Jeremy Moore's. Next day went to 
Thomas Mercer's to breakfast ; after which we went to see 
the great whirlpool, which is about three miles below the 
great cataract. At this formidable vortex, the river makes 
a bend at a right angle, which, by the velocity of the rapids 
above, has washed the opposite bank into a marvellous cove 



VISIT TO BUFFALO CREEK, 1797. 175 

of about thirty acres dimensions. The water appears im- 
measurably deep ; — the river below, containing and passing 
all the waters of the many northern, stupendous lakes, and 
mighty rivers, is contracted to a space, perhaps not exceed- 
ing eighty yards in width, curbed by banks, no doubt one 
hundred and fiity feet perpendicular, which carry every ap- 
pearance of the ravages of revolving years having gradually 
worn the tremendous falls, from some miles distance below, 
to their present station. 

After viewing this marvellous display of omnipotent 
power, we returned to J. Moore's to dine ; — attended a meet- 
ing at two o'clock, where several Friends and friendly peo- 
ple gave us their company ; and I took my farewell of them, 
in the feelings of the heavenly Father's love, extended to- 
wards them; recommending them to the teachings of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and the word of his grace, as the alone 
infallible teacher. Returned to J. Moore's and were edified 
tcgether. 

10th. Parted with my kind friends and relatives, amidst 
a conflux of tears. Rode, past the great falls, which excite 
wonder and astonishment, as oft as viewed, and echo the 
voice, that the Power who made and sustains us, is almighty. 
The mist, aspiring to the neighbourhood of the clouds, re- 
sembles the smoke of many furnaces ; and the sound of the 
cataract, awful and profound as a mighty ocean, shakes the 
adjacent shores to a degree so as to make windows and 
doors jar and rattle. The waters on the British side have 
visibly altered their position within four years past; at 
which time I visited them before. I think they wear faster 
on that side of the island, than on the side of the United 
States ; the falls being ten feet higher on the American side, 
than the other. 

We called to see Martha, the widow of John Birch, after 
which, pursued our journey ; the weather being cold, and 
the roads frozen and icy. Arrived at x-\sa Schooley's, and 
the evening assumed the prospect of an approaching snow 
storm, which roused some keen emotions of mind respecting 
our several homes. Mud, rivers, rocks, deserts, mountains, 



176 JACOB LINDLEY'S JOURNAL. 

being formidable difficulties in travelling, without the addi- 
tion of snow. 

nth. Cloudy and some rain. Took leave of our kind 
friend Asa Schooley and family. His son-in-law, and John 
Cutler, Jr., accompanied us to Niagara ferry ; where we 
parted with them in mutual tenderness of spirit. Crossed 
the great Niagara river, and went on to Buffaloe creek, 
where were a number of Onondaga Indians, stately sized 
men. The sight of those poor aborigines always excites 
sympathy in my heart. On first-day, the 12th, a great fall 
of rain occasioned our remaining stationary, which was try- 
ing, more especially as we were within twelve miles of the 
little meeting at Black creek, where we had designed to 
tarry till second-day. We have now been traversing these 
great woods and waters nearly two weeks ; in which time, 
we have not enjoyed one pleasant clear day ; and almost 
every other day there has been some fall either of snow or 
rain. 

On second-day, the 13th, set out early, and rode four 
miles to Stony creek, which overflowed its banks, and the 
road we had to cross it was but a few perches above very 
large falls, which had such a tremendous aspect, that on re- 
sorting to our reason, and consulting one another, we 
deemed it most prudent to return to expensive lodgings, at 
Buffaloe creek. The sun broke out, the clouds subsided, and 
the weather moderated, which was some mitigation of our 
disappointment and fruitless anxiety. This day seemed to 
pass as tardy as a long summer or harvest day. I walked up 
and down the lake. Many Indian Chiefs and warriors, 
women and children, are on the move to get the British an- 
nual presents. 

This evening, we had an interview with Farmer's 
Brother; he was accompanied by four other chiefs, and 
Major Jack Berry, who interpreted. We pointed out the 
design of Friends, in attempting to better the condition of 
the natives ; at which he seemed pleased. I mentioned our 
apprehensions of distilled spirits being extremely injurious 
to Indians, and also to white people; withal informing him. 
that there were five of our company, who had travelled sev- 



VISIT TO BUFFALO CREEK, 1797.. 177 

eral weeks, through snow, rain, and frost, and had not drunk 
one drop of it. He replied, he knew we drank no spirits; 
but that he did not know when he had enough. He said 
much about the supremacy of the Great Spirit ; also was 
anxious to know our opinion of the diurnal motion of the 
earth. This subject appeared to have puzzled him, not un- 
derstanding the principles or power of attraction and gravi- 
tation ; and he treated it as a false hypothesis, advancing as 
a proof, that if the earth turned round every twenty four 
hours, consequently the lakes must be emptied. I told him 
those were subjects which belonged to learned and great 
men ; but our concern was, that love, and peace, and good 
works, might increase amongst all nations ; for this would 
be pleasing to the Great Spirit ; such he loved, and made 
happy in another world. Which he said was "very good." 

14th. Set out early; crossed a very rapid, roaring creek, 
and went on to Twelve-mile creek, w T hich overflowed its 
banks, the roaring rapids proclaiming no mercy, having 
seventy feet fall in about forty perches below the fording 
place. This made it a serious subject to think of venturing 
to cross above. At length, we explored the stream below 
the rapids, and found it divided into four branches ; which, 
on trial, we found practicable to ford. Then, thankful for 
the recent preservation, we pursued our route, and crossed 
another copious stream. But evening approaching, we had 
to look out for a place to encamp. At length, passed a bark 
cabin, occupied by twenty-one Indians. So we got a brand 
cut of their fire, to kindle ours, and crossing a small stream, 
found a vacant cabin ; then tying our horses to the bushes, 
we kindled up a large fire in front, and lodged tolerably 
comfortable , notwithstanding the night was cold, attended 
with some squalls of snow. 

15th. The roads still heavy, with terrific slotches, black 
as tar, and so deep that a strong horse could just plunge 
and blunder through. The waters continuing high, we con- 
templated Tonnewanto, the largest of these streams in this 
howling wilderness, not rideable, — therefore concluded to 
go by the Indian village, eight miles round, in order to ferrv 
over. After a tedious ride, we arrived there, and found 



178 JACOB LI ND LEY'S JOURNAL. 

about a dozen Indian houses and huts, containing about 1 50 
inhabitants ; amongst the rest, a Frenchman who has an In- 
dian wife. We purchased some corn and milk of him. Ik- 
had a cobling, small canoe, into which we put our saddles 
and baggage, and passed over, one at a time. We drove the 
poor, fatigued horses in, cold and snowy as it was ; and they 
swam across the river, about forty yards over. 

With hearts devoted to return praise to the Preserver of 
men, the Lord our mighty helper, we resumed our route ; 
contemplating the difficulties which our primitive worthies 
must have encountered, in their first visits to Friends in 
America. 

Passed through a champaign country, abounding with 
vast poplars, bass-wood, cherry, red oak, &c. and notwith- 
standing our detention at Tonnewanto, we rode about thirty 
miles. Came to a bark house and took up lodgings ; tied 
up our poor horses again, made up a fire, and composed our- 
selves as well as we could ; — the night very cold, and threat- 
ening snow. Next morning decamped early, and travelled 
on till we crossed the Genessee river, and got to good lodg- 
ings ; for which favour, with the many deliverances ex- 
perienced in our varied trials, my soul desires to return the 
tribute of thanksgiving and glory, to the supreme Con- 
troller of events. 

Many are the sufferings, which travellers experience in 
this uncultivated part of nature's garden. We passed, and 
administered relief to a poor woman and four children, on 
the bank of a large creek, which they durst not pass, by rea- 
son of the swell. They were out of money, and out of bread, 
their horses lost, and the man, whose name was Bradshaw, 
away, hunting them. She received our gratuity, with many 
descending tears. After we had rode about five miles, we 
overtook the horses, and got a man who accompanied us 
from Buftaloe to take them back. We were touched with a 
feeling of sympathy for every fellow creature under diffi- 
culty, in these inhospitable wilds. 

Next day we travelled on through the snow, which was 
descending plentifully, and reached Danbury, where we ob- 
tained good lodgings. The day following, pursued the 



VISIT TO BUFFALO CREEK, 1797. 179 

mountain road, (rightly named) and crossed ten hills, and 
as many vallies, the ascent and descent equally difficult and 
dangerous, for man and beast. After riding about seven- 
teen miles, through a habitation of wild beasts, where no 
man dwells, nor perhaps never may, we arrived at a cabin, 
fed our tired horses, and proceeded to Bath, along the banks 
of the Cohocton, passing through many a dismal mire. 
Here we could procure no provender for our horses, tired 
as they were, and the riders hungry and cold ; so we pressed 
on to Dolson's, at Mud creek. 

19th. Proceeded on to the Painted Post. Crossed the 
Cohocton, Canistiere, Tioga, and Cownesky. Saw several 
deer, and one beautiful buck, wading the Tioga. Put up at 
Salisbury, having rode thirty-two miles. I often felt my 
mind wafted to New Garden ; it being the time of our j. 
Quarterly meeting. I now consider that we have been 
greatly favoured, in that those several mighty waters which 
we have passed in the last seventeen miles, were rideable, 
considering the abundant fall of rain and snow. Our lodg- 
ing was on the floor, with our saddles for our pillows, and 
mush and milk for supper. Next morning, rode ten miles 
to breakfast, then for twelve miles saw no human inhab- 
itants ; but the country was inhabited by wolves, deer, and 
bears, which their numerous paths in the snow, abundantly 
evinced. Also, for several days, we met with no animal food 
but venison. We called at half a dozen houses to buy some 
bread, to support us through the wilderness, but could not 
obtain a single crumb ; — the inhabitants generally subsisting 
on mush, made of corn beat in a mortar. 

We rejoiced to take our leave of the waters of Tioga, 
having ascended them for upwards of thirty miles, and 
crossed it twelve times in twenty miles. Then encountered 
the rugged Alleghany mountains, to the famed Block-house. 
Fed our horses, and called for supper, which was thus served 
up : coffee, without cream ; buckwheat cakes, without but- 
ter, and venison broiled, without gravy. I joined Joshua 
Sharpless in a wish for the fragments of our Quarterly 
meeting dinner ; but all in vain. 

21st. Set out at break of dav: ascended and descended 



180 JACOB LINDLEY'S JOURNAL. 

a very large rugged mountain, to Trout Run, the head 
source of Lycoming creek ; which stream we followed to 
its junction with the west branch of Susquehanna, thence 
crossing the Loyalsock, we proceeded to the hospitable man- 
sion of our kind friend Samuel Wallace, where we were 
courteously entertained. The contrast between this and our 
late lodgings, was so great as scarcely to be described. Here, 
we parted with our friends and fellow travellers, Oliver 
Paxson and James LangstafL 

Next day, attended Muncy preparative meeting, to a good 
degree of satisfaction. Dined at William Ellis's, and then 
in company with him and his wife, proceeded to Fishing 
creek; where, next day, we attended an appointed meeting, 
to my comfort ; being possessed of a hope that Truth's tes- 
timony is likely to prosper amongst them. Dined at John 
Eves's, and then went on to Catawissa, and lodged at James 
Watson's. 

25th. Attended Catawissa monthly meeting; where we 
met a body of qualified Friends, beyond my expectation ; 
and it was to me a favoured season. Went on to Charles 
Chapman's to lodge, and had a religious opportunity with 
them and their nine children. 

Next day, attended Roaring creek meeting, which was 
large, and mostly composed of goodly looking Friends ; yet 
it proved a laborious, searching season ; but in the conclu- 
sion, was favoured with a solemn covering. Dined at Na- 
than Lee's, then went on to Bezaleel Hayhurst's, who is mar- 
ried to a granddaughter of Thomas Ross. 

27th. Took our leave of the family about sun-rise, and 
ascended and descended the several huge piles of earth and 
stone, dividing the Susquehanna, Schuylkill, and Delaware 
waters. About the middle of the afternoon, crossed the 
upper branches of Mahoning creek, and thence to the waters 
of the Schuylkill, down which we descended to Mosher's 
tavern and lodged. 

From thence, pursued our journey home, where we ar- 
rived in safety, having been absent about seven weeks, and 
travelled upward of a thousand miles. 



VISIT TO BUFFALO CREEK, 1797. 181 

Note — To make our record of early (Protestant) missionary visits in the 
Niagara region more nearly complete, it should be recorded that as early as 
May, 1785, the Moravian missionaries Jungman and Senseman came down 
from their establishments at the west of Lake Erie, and made a brief halt at 
Fort Niagara, then passing on to Oswego, and thence by Fort Stanwix and 
Albany to Bethlehem. There is no account that they preached, either to In- 
dians or white men, on the Niagara. 

Missionaries were sent to the Western Reserve, now included in north- 
eastern Ohio, by the Connecticut Missionary Society, as early as 1800. The 
Rev. William Wick had settled at Youngstown, O., in 1799. In December, 
1800, the Rev. Joseph Badger visited him there, Badger being the first mis- 
sionary sent to that region by the society named. He preached "all over the 
Reserve, and along the shore of Lake Erie as far as Sandusky." In 180 1 the 
Rev. Ezekiel J. Chapman was sent from Hartford, Conn., to the Reserve, and 
in June, 1803, was followed by the Rev. Thomas Robbins, in 1805 by Rev. 
Calvin Chapin, and the Rev. David Bacon and in 1807 by the Rev. Archibald 
Bassett. Mr. Bacon was specially appointed "to labor among the Indians 
south and southwest of Lake Erie." ("Early Ecclesiastical History of the 
Western Reserve," by Rev. W. E. Barton.) It is probable that several if not 
all of these missionaries traveled westward by way of Buffalo Creek, and 
preached here, in passing, either to whites or Indians. 

In the American Pioneer, vol. II. (Cincinnati, O., 1843), is a letter from 
Joseph Badger, dated Plain Wood Co., [O.] Feb. 25, 1843, in which he writes, 
obviously speaking of himself: "The first missionary to this n. w. region of 
Ohio came under the patronage of the Connecticut Missionary Society, in the 
year 1800. He arrived at Youngstown in the last week of December, and preach- 
ed there the last Sabbath of the month. . . The want of roads and bridges 
over streams, made traveling difficult and dangerous; the missionary however 
visited all the settlements excepting one, in 1801, and the 28th of October 
laid his course for New England, on the Indian path from the Reserve along 
the lake shore to Buffalo. . . The missionary arrived in Buffalo on the 
1st of November, was confined there with a fever 11 days, then rode to Bloom- 
field and was detained by sickness three weeks, . . and reached his family 
residence in Blanford about the 1st of January, 1802, having been absent from 
his family more than a year. 

"At a meeting of the missionary society, he agreed to move to the West; 
made preparation and began his journey in February. After a long and weari- 
some journey, he arrived at Buffalo about the last of April [1802], with his 
wife and six children. Where that large city now stands there was only four 
or six log cabins. Here was the end of all but Indian residences for nearly 
80 miles, and only an Indian path. He had a man to go before the team and 
chop out all that was necessary to open the passage. His team, a wagon and 
four horses, was the first that ever crossed Buffalo Creek. He was four days 
passing through the wilderness to the first house in Pennsylvania." He sub- 
sequently settled at Austinburg near the Cuyahoga. 

Of all the Protestant missionaries in our region, Elkanah Holmes is foremost in 
interest, yet data regarding his work among the Senecas and Tuscaroras are very 
meager. His own letters, printed in the following collection, are the principal 
source of information about him. but they relate only to his first year in the field. 
He appears to have lived for a number of years at Schlosser. James Cusick. a 
Tuscarora, brother of David, told Henry R. Schoolcraft that Elkanah Holmes 
came to the Tuscaroras in 1807, and that he was their first missionary. "After- 
wards, when Mr. Holmes was removed, another missionary was sent to the Tusca- 



182 JACOB LI ND LEY'S JOURNAL. 

roras by the American Foreign Mission [?], namely, the Rev. Mr. Grey, who re- 
mained until last war [1812J. After his dismissal in 1816, another missionary was 
sent by the Board of the New York Missionary Society, the Rev. James C. Crane." 
lie adds that succeeding missionaries to the Tuscaroras were the Revs. B. Lane. 
John Elliot, Joel Wood, Mr. Williams and Gilbert Rockwood, incumbent at the 
time Mr. Schoolcraft collected data for his "Notes on the Iroquois," iSj;. The 
Baptists organized and built a church on the Tuscarora reservation in 1836, and in 
1838 James Cusick was ordained ; he preached and established churches among the 
Six Nations during several years. The Cusicks were able men. Nicholas was an 
interpreter. David Cusick was probably the only full-blooded Tuscarora author. 
His pamphlet, a collection of Indian traditions, first published at Lewiston in 1825, 
is one of the strangest and rarest books relating to our region. 



III. REV. DAVID BACON'S VISITS 

TO BUFFALO IN 1800 AND 1801. 



FROM MEMORANDA BY 

THE REV. D. M. COOPER, OF DETROIT. 

The Rev. David Bacon left Hartford, Conn., August 8, 
1800, to visit the Indian tribes bordering on Lake Erie, ac- 
cording to the resolve of the trustees of the Missionary So- 
ciety of Connecticut. His wages were fixed at no cents 
per day, with authority to appoint an interpreter at his dis- 
cretion, and stated the sum he was to pay, which he says "is 
more than double he expects to pay." The society made him 
a present of a small Bible, at a cost of 12s. o,d. The outfit 
of the missionary for this expedition was of the simplest 
kind. Afoot and alone he was to make his way towards the 
wilderness, with no luggage more than he could carry on 
his person, thankfully accepting any offer of a seat for a few 
miles in some passing vehicle. Such was the equipment 
with which the good people of Connecticut sent forth their 
first missionary to the heathen. 

The earliest intelligence from him was in a letter, dated 
Buffalo Creek, September 4, 1800.* He had not been sick- 
since he left Hartford but two or three days, and then he 
was able to walk several miles in a day, and says further: 
"I was much fatigued at first, but can now travel 25 miles 
in a day with ease. I found opportunity to ride, in the 

'Published in the Evangelical Magazine, Hartford, Conn., November, 1800. 

183 



184 REV. DAVID BACON'S VISITS 

whole, about 150 miles. Both the friend and enemies of re- 
ligion have conducted towards me as though they were com- 
missioned to help me." 

He was very kindly received at Canandaigua by Capt. 
Chapin, the Indian agent at that point, who gave him a 
string of wampum, and a long and suitable letter to the 
Seneca chiefs at Buffalo Creek, in order that he might 
[take] a speech from them to the Western tribes. Capt. 
Chapin also gave him a letter to his brother who was a mer- 
chant at Buffalo Creek. He reached that point September 
1st, and found Capt. Chapin's brother, as also the principal 
sachem and Capt. Johnston, the interpreter. The old 
sachem,* after learning the purport of the Rev. Bacon's 
mission, and of his desire for a speech to the western tribes, 
approved of the proposal, "and said he would notify the 
chiefs to meet me the following day at one o'clock. Six of 
them came at the appointed time, and with them Capt. 
Johnston. The business was soon explained to them, and 
they listened with the greatest attention, and said they ex- 
pected to grant my request, but must defer the matter until 
the second day, that they might have an opportunity to con- 
sult among themselves. The second day, when they met us 
as proposed," their great orator [Red Jacket], in the midst 
of a large concourse of Indians, delivered a speech to the 
missionary, and another for him to write down for their 
Western brethren. They also gave him a curious string of 
wampum to go with their speech. 

Mr. Bacon sailed from Buffalo Creek on the fourth day 
after the date of the preceding letter, and by a speedv vov- 
age arrived at Detroit on September nth. thirty-eight days 
after leaving Hartford. He returned to Hartford about the 
middle of December, 1800, and reported to the meeting of 
the trustees on the business of his mission. At that meeting 
it appears his work met the full approval of the board, and 
on the 30th December he received his new and enlarged ap- 
pointment. In the meantime he took a wife. The voung 
couple left Mansfield, Conn., for the West on the nth Feb- 

*Probably Farmer's Brother, who v. as chief sacbein at this time. 



TO BUFFALO IN tSoo AND 1S01. 185 

ruary, 1S01. A brother of Mr. Bacon accompanied them 
and wrote an account of their trip, from which the following 
extracts are made : 

"There was something romantic in leaving home, perhaps 
never to return, to go to the great West and live among the 
Indians, learn their language and lead them to God. The 
weather was very cold, but we did not suffer. We had a 
good sleigh and two good horses. Although we did not 
leave Bethlehem until near noon, we were at Canaan before 
dark ; stopped at a noisy country tavern. We were a large 
company all together in the bar-room ; some were drink- 
ing, some were swearing, and some telling stories. We 
had never stayed at such a place before, and it was a new 
experience. What we here saw was common in nearly all 
the public houses where we stopped. At that time every 
thing was done by sleighing. The roads were full. Some- 
times we would meet 30 or 40 sleighs loaded with wheat 
going to Albany and Troy to market. This made travelling 
to the West rather unpleasant. We, however, got along 
very well ; had fine sleighing until we got to Geneva, where 
the snow left us. We dragged along on bare ground and 
mud to East Bloomrleld. Here we remained until spring, 
when the roads were settled. Mrs. Bacon and myself were a 
kind of wonder to the people of East Bloomfield. That we, 
so young, should be willing to forsake home and friends and 
good old Connecticut, and go among the wild sons of the 
forest they thought strange indeed." 

"About the first of April we started for Buffalo, having 
sold the sleigh and things we could not carry. We had two 
good horses, and one man's saddle, and a Mackinac blanket 
for the other horse. Mr. Bacon and wife would ride on two 
or three miles, while I trotted along on foot, as best I could. 
After a while he would tie his horse to a tree, and go on with 
Mrs. Bacon. When I overtook them, I rode on ahead a mile 
or so, and tied, and then went on again. Thus we did till we 
reached Detroit, about 250 miles by land. There was no 
wagon road, only a path through the woods, sometimes 
rather obscure, the trees marked to show the way. 

"We crossed the Genesee River at Rochester, where there 



186 REV. DAVID BACON'S VISITS, 1S00 AND 1S01. 

was only a house for the ferry-man, I think. At Batavia 
there was only a log tavern. From that to Buffalo there 
was only one log house. We remained at this log-house 
over the Sabbath. The next clay we reached Buffalo. As 
the lake was not. open we had to remain there a number of 
weeks. The town was full of Indians, many of them drunk. 
There was a large village of them on Buffalo Creek. Red 
Jacket was the chief. Here Airs. Bacon and I saw for the 
first time what were then called wild Indians. We were 
first afraid, but in a short time ceased to fear. They were 
a miserably degraded specimen of human nature. I thought 
then there was little hope of doing them good by teaching or 
preaching. We waited for a vessel to take us to Detroit un- 
til we were tired. Then we concluded to go by land and 
'ride and tie.' We crossed at Black Rock and went down 
on the Canada side to Niagara Falls. There was at the Falls 
a good tavern where we took breakfast, but there was no 
other house, and I think there was none on the American 
side. Upper Canada was then almost an unbroken wilder- 
ness — no public roads. We came to London on the River 
Thames. There we had to remain a number of weeks, and 
were kindly treated." 

After that they pursued their journey and arrived at De- 
troit May 9th, three or four weeks earlier, they say, than 
would have been possible had they waited for a vessel from 
Buffalo. 



IV. 

LETTERS OF THE 

REVEREND ELKANAH HOLMES 

FROM FORT NIAGARA IN 1800. 



HIS WORK AMONG THE TUSCARORAS, THE SENEGAS, 
AND IN BUFFALO. 



Efficient and earnest teaching of the Gospel in these parts 
began with the labors of the Rev. Elkanah Holmes. In the 
report made by the Board of Directors of the New York 
Missionary Society at the annual meeting, 1S01, the circum- 
stances of his employment are set forth as follows : 

"The Society has already been informed of the measures 
taken by the Directors for accomplishing the desirable pur- 
pose of introducing the Gospel and establishing a Christian 
settlement among the Chickasaw Indians. . . . Their first 
undertaking having been thus far countenanced by the 
Lord of the harvest, and their resources being by no means 
exhausted, the Directors felt it their duty to turn their eyes 
to some other quarter which might invite a new mission. 
An event, which they cannot but account providential, 
pointed out the North- Western Indians, especially the Tus- 
carora and Seneca nations, as the most proper objects of 
their next attempt. The Xew York Baptist Association, 

18? 



188 LETTERS OF REV. ELKANAH HOLMES 

who were already known to some Indian tribes, wishing to 
carry still farther among them the light of the knowledge 
of the glory of God, but destitute of the requisite means, 
recommended the Rev. Elkanah Holmes, one of their num- 
ber as a suitable missionary. In this gentleman, who had 
formerly experience of similar service, the Directors found 
those solid, evangelical principles, that zeal, that natural 
sagacity and disposition for enterprize, and that acquaint- 
ance with Indian character and custom, which rendered him 
peculiarly fit for the contemplated mission. They accord- 
ingly took him into the employment of the Society, and hav- 
ing furnished him with special instructions, set him apart 
to his work by solemn prayer. 

"The Mission being designed both by Mr. Holmes and 
the Directors, rather as a Mission of experiment than a per- 
manent establishment, he was employed for six months ; but 
not so limited by his appointment as to prevent his spending 
a longer time in making excursions of inquiry among the 
remoter tribes. For his compensation, while engaged in this 
labour of love the Directors have voted a salary at the rate 
of three hundred and seventy-five dollars per annum, besides 
his traveling expenses. 

"All the accounts which have been received from him, 
and of him, are singularly gratifying. At Niagara, Mr. 
Holmes was treated with a politeness and respect by Major 
Rivardi, the commanding officer, which facilitated his intro- 
duction among the Tuscaroras, and merits the gratitude of 
the Society. This reception by the Indians, both of the Tus- 
carora and Seneca tribes, has been respectful and affection- 
ate. The principal chief of the latter has proposed to place 
his grandson under the care of the Society, and has accom- 
panied the proposal with a series of remarks which evince 
shrewd observation ; the most unlimited confidence in the 
Society ; the stress which is laid upon this experiment, and 
the unspeakable importance of its faithful management and 
happy termination. 

"Mr. Holmes being unacquainted with the language of 
the Indians to whom he was sent, had no resort but an in- 
terpreter. Happily lie found among the Tuscarora Indians 



FROM FORT NIAGARA, 1800. 189 

from the neighborhood of Stockbridge, one well qualified, 
named Nicholas Cusick,* and who, he writes, has rendered 
him eminent service. The Directors allowed him fifteen 
dollars a month for the interpreter, during his continuance 
with them. 

"Not having heard from Mr. Holmes for some months, 
they conclude that he has penetrated among the Indians 
farther west." [A foot-note states : "Mr. Holmes returned 
a day or two after the meeting of the Society."] 

The following documents afford the best account of the 
work of Mr. Holmes among the Seneca and Tuscarora 
tribes : 

Fort Niagara, October 9, 1800. 

Rev. and Dear Sir : Through the goodness and mercy 
of the Lord, my health is recovered ; I have not had a fit of 
the fever and ague for better than a fortnight. I have 
preached to the Indians four times this week; every one of 
the chiefs and a great part of the rest of the tribe, appear 
very anxious to hear, and very attentive when they do. 
Their conduct towards me, from the first day that I came 
among them to the present, has been as kind and friendly. 
and more so, than I could expect from such real pagans : 
for they were really so, as much, if not more, than any of 
the Indian tribes in this part of the world. 

Cusock informs me, that their ancient forms of marriage 
(and what used to be observed by other Indian nations) 
they have omitted for near one hundred years, and now 
they have no form of marriage among them. A man takes 
a woman without any ceremony, and they cohabit together, 
as long as they can agree, and separate when either of them 
can suit themselves better. Their children (if they have any 
when they part in this manner) are often left to suffer: no 
notice is taken of it by the chiefs, or any of the nation. They 
have no laws to punish any crime whatsoever among them, 
except murder ; the nearest of kin to the murdered, will kill 
the murderer ; but if that is not done, no one else will con- 
cern himself about it. Furthermore, Cusock. who is one of 

'Usually so spelled, though Mr. Holmes writes it "Cusock." 



190 LETTERS OF REV. ELK AN AH HOLMES 

the nation, tells me, that there is not a married couple in 
this village (which consists of better than two hundred 
souls) nor a legitimate person, old or young. For two or 
three years past, many of them have begun to reform, 
especially Sacaresa, the chief sachem. He, with several 
others, will not work or hunt on the Sabbath : and I expect 
that they will enter into a covenant before I leave these 
parts, to observe the Sabbath day in both the villages in this 
part of the nation. I understand there are about a hundred 
of the nation that live at Grand River, and about seventy at 
the Oneida. 

One thing more, which I think is to their praise — they 
are, perhaps, more industrious than any Indian tribe in these 
parts. Many of the men work in the field (as well as the 
women) by planting, hoeing, and harvesting their corn, etc., 
which (I am informed) is not the custom of the Senecas or 
any of the western tribes, for among them the women do all 
the work in the field. 

I am more encouraged than ever I was, to preach the 
gospel to the poor creatures. I see more necessity to do it, 
than ever I did. My soul pities them, and my prayer to God 
is, that ministers of the gospel, and Christians in general, 
may be more engaged and encouraged to help them, and en- 
lighten them, poor dark, benighted souls — poor mortals, they 
are perishing for want of knowledge. Methinks the soul that 
has experienced the power of redeeming love, and enjoyed 
the glorious light of the Gospel, cannot help praying for and 
pitying the poor Indians, who sit in darkness and in the 
shadow of death. 

I expect to set out next Monday to visit the Senecas, if 
the Lord will, and if they receive me and will hear me, to 
tarry with them about four weeks, and return from thence 
to the Tuscaroras, and tarry with them until the first of De- 
cember, and then set off from this place to visit a village of 
the Senecas, called Tantawanta, thirty miles from this, on 
my way to Xew Stockbridge, and to the Tuscaroras in that 
neighborhood, and from thence to Brothertown, and from 
thence, by way of Albany, home. 

Cusock, who is now with me. and is (I believe) a pious 



FROM FORT NIAGARA, 1800. 191 

soul, and a careful and good interpreter, must go home 
about the first of December, and I can do nothing- without 
him here ; there is no one in these parts that I can trust to 
interpret for me, when he is gone. 

The inclosed address, I believe, is a faithful one. The 
chiefs, by the help of Cusock, have been above three weeks 
preparing it. It would have been signed and sent to you 
sooner, but the sachem and two of the chiefs were called to 
a great council with the Senecas. The subject matter of the 
council, and the result, has been something extraordinary, 
which I purpose to inform you of hereafter. 

Excuse mistakes. I have not time to revise or correct 
what I have wrote — the mail will be closed in a few minutes. 
I must not forget to mention that Major Rivardi has con- 
ducted towards me like a gentleman and a disinterested 
friend. I wish that the Directors would return him their 
thanks for his and his worthy Lady's kind treatment to me, 
and my beloved Cusock. 

Now, dear brother, I must conclude, desiring that you 
and all my ministering brethren in New- York, would praise 
God for his goodness to me, and pray for me. 

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. 
Amen. 

Elk an ah Holmes. 
Rev. J. M. Mason, 
Secretary to the Directors of the Missionary Society. 
[enclosure in above letter:] 

Address of the Tuscarora Chiefs, to the Directors 
of the New York Missionary Society. 

Fathers and Brothers: Attend! We the Sachems 
and Chiefs of the Tuscarora nation of Indians, desire to 
speak a few words to your ears : we thank the Great Spirit 
above, who made Heaven and earth, and all things, that he 
has put into the hearts of a number of our white brothers in 
the City of New- York and parts around it, to form a great 
council of friendship for us and for the rest of our red 
brothers. 

Fathers and brothers : We also thank you for the good 



H 



192 LETTERS OF REV. ELKANAH HOLMES 

talks you send us by the hand of our father Elkanah Holmes. 
It much rejoices our nation, both old and young-. We also 
thank you that you send our father Holmes to visit us. We 
know he is a true friend to Indians, and we love to hear him 
open his mouth to speak about the Great Spirit above. 

Fathers and brothers : We should be very glad to have 
our father Holmes live among us, or some other good man 
that you would send to teach us the meaning of the beloved 
speech in the good book called the Bible ; for we are in 
darkness ; we are very ignorant — we poor. Now fathers 
and brothers, you have much light ; you are wise and rich. 
Not but two in our nation can read in the good book, the 
Bible. We wish our children to learn to read, that they may 
be civil and happy when we are gone — that they may under- 
stand the good speech better than we can : we feel much 
sorrow for our children — we ask you, fathers and brothers, 
will you not pity us, and our poor children, and send a 
schoolmaster to teach our children to read and write? If 
you will, we will rejoice, we will love him, we will do all we 
can to make him happy — we are poor, we cannot pay him in 
money or anything else. 

Fathers and brothers : We think many good people, that 
did not want to cheat the Indians, and get their lands for 
nothing, but do them all the good they could, by learning 
them to read the good book, and sending good men among 
them with the good speech on their tongues, to teach them 
the meaning of the Great Spirit in the good book, have often 
been discouraged, and stop because many Indians would not 
open their ears, but would go in ways of the evil spirit. We 
are sorry Indians have clone so — we are afraid some of us 
shall do so too, and the Great Spirit will be angry with us, 
and that you will be discouraged, and stop, and say, "Let 
them alone, there is nothing can be done with Indians." 

Fathers and brothers : Hearken — we cry to vou from 
the wilderness — our hearts ache while we speak to your ears. 
If such wicked things should be done by any of us, we prav 
you not to be discouraged — don't stop — think poor Indians 
must die as well as white men. We pray you, therefore, 



FROM FORT NIAGARA, 1800. 133 

never to give over and leave poor Indians, but follow them 
in dark times, and let our children always find you to be 
their fathers and friends when we are dead and no more. 

Fathers and brothers : Once more attend. According to 
your request, in your talk to us we have opened our ears. 
The talks of our father Holmes makes us glad when he 
speaks, although he has been very unwell part of the time 
since he has been with us ; sometimes he must lie down on 
the bed when he speaks about the Great Spirit to us. We 
have used him as kind as we were able — we are poor. 
When he goes to visit our brothers (the Senecas) we will 
make his path as smooth as we can ; some of us will go 
with him ; we will be children to him. 

Fathers and brothers : We will send you talks as often 
as we can. We are glad you say you wish always to keep 
the chain of friendship bright and shining ; we wish so too 
— we and our forefathers have been long under dark clouds ; 
no friends to help us to know the will of the Good Spirit. 
We will now believe you to be our friends ; we will open 
cur ears to any good men you send among us ; we will use 
them kind ; and we let you know we are pleased with all 
you say ; and that we speak one heart to you by delivering 
eight strings of wampum to you, according to the custom of 
our forefathers, by our father Holmes, who will give them 
to you, and tell you more about us than we can write. May 
the Great Spirit help us to remember each other. 
Farewell. 

Sacarese X, Sachem. 

William X Prentup, Chief Warrior. 

Isaac. X Charles, Warrior Chief. 

Long X Board, Warrior Chief. 

Isaac X, Warrior Chief. 

Hendrick X, Second Sachem. 

Kaasontaw X Sacoghwiheagh, W T arrior Chief. 

George X Prentup, Warrior Chief. 

Billa X Prentup, Warrior Chief. 
IVitucsscs: Xiciiolas Cusock. Thomas X Green. 
Niagara, Tuscarora, October 6, 1800. 



194 LETTERS OF REV. ELKANAH HOLMES 

From Major Rivardi, Commanding at Fort Niagara. 
Fort Niagara, October 8, 1800. 

I Certify, that the Chiefs of the Tuscaroras convened at 
this post, have, in my presence, expressed an ardent wish of 
having a school established at their village. Such a meas- 
ure, if it coincides with the views of Government, would no 
doubt enable the rising generation of the Tuscaroras to ad- 
vance rapidly towards civilization. 

The Rev. Mr. Holmes seems to have gained the con- 
fidence and affection of the chiefs. He deserves it by the 
pains which he takes to inculcate in them principles of mor- 
ality. That he may be successful is the sincere wish of 

T. I. Ulricii Rivardi. 

Mr. Holmes to Secretary Mason. 

Fort Niagara, October 29, 1800. 

Rev. and Dear Brother: Through the kind provi- 
dence of God, I arrived the 14th of this instant at the Seneca 
Castle, five miles above where the Buff aloe empties into 
Lake Erie. Immediately (with Cusock my interpreter) I 
waited on the chief sachem (called Farmer's Brother) and 
made known my business to him and desired the favor of 
him, and the chiefs of the nation, to meet me in council. 
He informed me that he had heard of me before, and that 
he would consult the chiefs, and, as soon as they could be 
ready, he would let me know it. I then took my leave of 
him, leaving Cusock to tarn' in the town, and rode to a vil- 
lage of white people, consisting of five or six families, at the 
mouth of the Buffaloe. 

On Friday following, Cusock came to me, and informed 
me, that the chiefs had concluded to meet in council in the 
afternoon of that day, and had sent him to desire me to at- 
tend. I proceeded without delay to the castle. When I ar- 
rived I found the sachems and chiefs with about one hundred 
Indians, assembled in the council-house, and about fifty more 
round the house. A few minutes after I was seated, Red 
Jacket, the second sachem, addressed me in a short speech, 
complimenting me, according to their custom, upon my ar- 



FROM FORT NIAGARA, 1800. 195 

rival, and letting me know that they were now ready to hear 
what I had to say to them. 

I then rose, and addressed him as I thought proper, and 
delivered the talk (as they stile it) from the Directors of the 
Missionary Society. And after Cusock had interpreted it 
to him, I made a few more observations, and presented the 
talk from the Oneida and Muhheconnuk* chiefs. And when 
Cusock had interpreted that, I addressed him again as I 
judged the case required, and concluded by letting him 
know that I was ready to speak more fully to them about 
the Great Spirit above, and Jesus Christ, whom he had sent 
into the world to save sinners, if they would consent to hear 
me; and desired them to consider the talks that had been 
sent to them, and what I had said, and give me an answer 
as soon as they thought proper. Whilst I was speaking to 
them, a number of their young men made a great laugh, and 
lay down, kicked up their heels, and one made a very un- 
decent report. I endeavored to keep from being discom- 
posed. The chiefs did not appear to approve of their con- 
duct, and at the conclusion of my address, they were very 
silent. 

The chiefs consulted about half an hour, and then Red 
Jacket replied to me in a very decent manner and in flatter- 
ing language, stiling me Father of the Six Nations, ex- 
pressing their joy at the good talk that had been sent them 
by the Good Society of Friendship at Xew-York, and from 
their brothers the Oneidas, Muhheconnuks, and Tuscaroras, 
and at what I had said unto them ; that they were all con- 
vinced that there was no snare or deceit in my business — 
and concluded with saying they were all willing that I should 
speak the good word to them, and desired that I would 
preach to them the next day, at 12 o'clock, about Jesus 
Christ. I then replied, expressing my joy and thankfulness 
for their condescension, and my readiness to comply with 
their request. I then took my leave of them and returned to 
BufTaloe. 

The next day being an uncommon rainy day, I looked 

*Mohegan. 



196 LETTERS OF REV. ELKANAH HOLMES 

upon it no ways consistent with duty for me to turn out, or 
any ways probable, if I did, that the Indians would ; but the 
next day, being Lord's day, I set out early in the morning, 
and with much difficulty reached the Castle about 12 o'clock, 
the waters being raised so high by the rain, I had to swim 
my beast twice by the side of a canoe.* I waited upon the 
chief sachem ; he consulted some of the chiefs, and they con- 
cluded that the people could not be notified so as to meet 
that day, but that they would meet the next day at 12 
o'clock, and desired me to attend. I let him know that it 
would be a pleasure to me to comply w r ith their request. 

The next day I met about one hundred of them in the 
council-house ; as they had never been acquainted with any 
modes of Christian worship (for I understand, that they 
never would admit a missionary among them before) I pro- 
ceeded with them in the same manner as in a common coun- 
cil, as you may see by the inclosed, dated the 20th of this 
instant — and the day following at Buffaloe, the chief 
sachem, and several of their principal men, met me, where 
he made the inclosed speech of that date. 

Last Lord's day I preached to them again at the Castle. 
Then I undertook to inform them of the modes and customs 
of Christians in public worship ; of keeping the Sabbath ; 
the duty of prayer ; and, lastly, I endeavored to preach the 
doctrine of repentance. During the whole, they gave good 
attention. One of the chiefs appeared to be under solemn 
impressions. After I concluded, Red Jacket thanked me 
and requested me to visit them again next month, and say 
more to them about Jesus Christ. 

At Buffaloe, where I made my home whilst I was visit- 
ing the Senecas, I preached seven or eight times to the white 
people on evenings. They never had but one sermon 
preached in the place before. 

I left Buffaloe last Monday and reached this place yes- 

*This is probably the first mention in history of a flood in Buffalo Creek, at 
what is now South Buffalo, an event which has been repeated once or more 
every year since the visit of Missionary Holmes. It may be noted that the 
inundations were disastrous, long before the channel was obstructed by piers or 
abutments of bridges. 



FROM FORT NIAGARA, 1800. 197 

terclay in great hopes of seeing my worthy friend Major 
Rivardi before he left the place ; but alas ! I was two hours 
too late. He is removed from the command of this post, 
and one Major Porter now commands here. 

I purpose, if the Lord will, to be with the Tuscaroras un- 
til the middle of next month, and then to return to the 
Senecas, and continue with them until winter. 

I have had my trials and my joys since I left New- York. 
The Senecas are great Pagans. They sacrifice white dogs 
to the Great Spirit, as they call the Supreme Being. They 
worship him by dances, which last two or three days. They 
keep certain days of feasting. They have forms of marriage 
among them, but seldom observe them. They are very in- 
continent. Many of them are great drunkards. But, as I 
expect to procure a more full account of their ways and cus- 
toms, by a certain person that has lived above twenty years 
among them,* I omit saying any more for the present. 

I must conclude, but not without requesting the continua- 
tion of your prayers to God for me. With esteem, I am, 
dear sir, I hope, your Brother in Christ. 

Elkaxah Holmes. 

Rev. J. M. Mason, 
Secretary to the Directors of the Missionary Society. 

[enclosure with the above:] 
The following address was made to me by Red Jacket, 
the second sachem of the Seneca Nation, on Monday, the 
20th day of October, 1800, in the Council House, at the 
Seneca Castle — it being the second public meeting that I 
have had with the Nation : 

"Father: We are extremely happy that the Great Good 
Spirit has permitted us to meet together this day. We have 
paid attention to all that you spoke to our ears at our last 
meeting. We thank the Great Spirit, who has put it into 
the minds of the great society of friendship at New York, 
to send you to visit us. We also hope that the Great Spirit 
will always have his eyes over that good society, to 

*Most likely Horatio Jones. 



198 LETTERS OF REV. ELK AN AH HOLMES 

strengthen their minds to have friendship towards the poor 
natives of this Island. We thank the Great Spirit, that he 
has smoothed your way, and has protected you through the 
rugged paths, and prevented any briars or thorns from 
pricking your feet. As you came on your way to visit us, 
you called on our brothers (the Oneidas, Muhheconnuks 
and Tuscaroras) who were well acquainted with you. We 
thank them for the pains they have taken in sending this 
good talk with wampum. [At the same time holding the 
talk and wampum in his hand.] We are convinced that 
what they say of you is true, that you came purely out of 
love to do us good, and for nothing else ; and that there is 
no deceit in your business, or in the good people that sent 
you. 

"Father: W T e now request you to speak something to 
us about Jesus Christ, and we will give attention." 

He then addressed his people and requested them to give 
good attention to what I was about to say, and make no 
noise, but behave in a becoming manner. 

I then proceeded and endeavored to preach Christ to 
them. When I had concluded, Red Jacket rose and made 
the following speech to me, after consulting the chiefs: 

"Father: We thank the Great Good Spirit above, for 
what you have spoken to us at this time, and hope he will 
always incline your heart, and strengthen you to this good 
work. We have clearly understood you, and this is all the 
truth you have said to us. 

"Father: We believe that there is a Great Being above, 
who has made Heaven and earth and all things that are 
therein, and has the charge over all things — who has made 
you whites as well as us Indians ; and we believe there is 
something great after death. 

"Father : What you say about our loving the Great 
Spirit, we know to be truth, as he has his eyes over all 
things, and watches all our movements and ways, and hears 
all we say, and knows all we do. 

"Father : We Indians are astonished at you whites, 
that when Jesus Christ was among you, and went about 



FROM FORT NIAGARA, 1800. 199 

doing good, speaking the good word, healing the sick, and 
casting out evil spirits, that you white people did not pay 
attention to him, and believe him, and that you put him to 
death when you had the good book in your possession. 

"Father: That we Indians were not near to this trans- 
action, or could we be guilty of it. 

"Father: Probably the Great Spirit has given to you 
white people the ways that you follow to serve him, and to 
get your living: and probably he has given to us Indians 
the customs that we follow to serve him (handed down to 
us by our forefathers) and our ways to get our living by 
hunting, and the Great Spirit is still good to us, to preserve 
game for us. And, father, you well know, you white people 
are very fond of our skins. 

"Father: You and your good people know that ever 
since the white people came on this island, they have always 
been getting our lands from us for little or nothing. 

"Father: Perhaps if we had had such good people as 
you and your Society to have stepped in and advised us In- 
dians, we and our forefathers would not have been so de- 
ceived by the white people, for you have the great and good 
God always in your sight. 

"Father: We repeat it again — we wish you and the 
good people of your Society, to make your minds perfectly 
easy, for we like what you say, and we thank the good So- 
ciety for their good intentions, and that they have sent you 
to visit us. 

"Father: You do not come like those that have come 
with a bundle under their arms, or something in their hands, 
but we have always found something of deceit under it, for 
they are always aiming at our lands ; but you have not come 
like one of those ; you have come like a father, and a true 
friend, to advise us for our good; we are convinced that 
there is no snare in your business ; we hope that our talk to 
you at this time, will be communicated to your good Societv 
at New York, and that the Good Spirit will protect you and 
them in this good work that you and they have undertaken ; 
and we expect that the bright chain of friendship shall al- 



200 LETTERS OF REV. ELKANAH HOLMES 

ways exist between us ; and we will do everything in our 
power to keep that chain bright from time to time." 

He then took up the strings of wampum that accompany 
this talk, and continued his speech to me as follows : 

''Father: You and your good Society well know that 
when learning was first introduced among Indians, they be- 
came small, and two or three nations have become extinct, 
and we know not what is become of them ; and it was also 
introduced to our eldest brothers the Mohawks ; we imme- 
diately observed, that their seats began to be small ; which 
was likewise the case with our brothers the Oneidas. Let 
us look back to the situation of our nephews, the Muhhecon- 
nuks ; they were totally routed away irom their seats. This 
is the reason why we think learning would be of no service 
to us. 

"Father: We are astonished that the white people, who 
have the good book called the Bible among them, that tells 
them the mind and will of the Great Spirit, and they can 
read it and understand it, that they are so bad, and do so 
many wicked things, and that they are no better. 

"Father: We know that what you have said to us, is 
perfectly good and true. We here (pointing to himself and 
the Farmer's Brother) cannot see that learning would be 
of any service to us ; but we will leave it to others who come 
after us, to judge for ^lemselves. 

"Father: If it should be introduced among us at pres- 
ent there might more intrigue or craft creep in among us ; it 
might be the means of our fairing the same misfortunes of 
our brothers ; our seat is but small now ; and if we were 
to leave this place, we would not know where to find an- 
other; we do not think we should be able to find a seat 
among our western brothers. 

"Father: We repeat it again. We hope that you and 
your good Society will make your minds perfectlv easv, for 
we are convinced that vour intentions are eood." 

He then presented me seven strings of wampum, saying, 
"We wish that this may be delivered with our speech, to 
your good Society that sent you to visit us." 



FROM FORT NIAGARA, 1800. 201 

We the subscribers, assisted as interpreters when the 
foregoing address was delivered, and assisted the Rev. 
Elkanah Holmes to commit it to writing — And do hereby 
certify, That the above is as near to the phraseology and 
ideas of the speaker, as we are able to recollect. 

William Johnston, 
Nicholas Cusock. 

The following address was delivered to me the 21st day 
of October, 1800, by Farmer's Brother (Chief Sachem of 
the Seneca Nation) at the house of Mr. John Palmer, at 
BufTaloe, it being the third public meeting I have had with 
them : 

"Father: We wish you now to attend. We thank the 
Great Good Spirit, that we have an opportunity to meet to- 
gether this day. We have something more to say to you. 
Yesterday after we heard your good talk, we had not time 
to speak all that we had to say to your ears. 

"Father: W r e now address ourselves to you and your 
good Society. There have been several applications made 
to our nations by the government of the United States and 
the Quakers, to send some of our youth to them to get learn- 
ing. 

"Father: We felt ourselves at that time very happy, 
that such loving union and friendship did take place be- 
tween the white people of the United States and us. 

"Father: I then gave up one of my grandsons to the 
United States to get learning, in hopes that this youth, when 
he got learning, would be of great service to our nations, to 
inform us of the good customs and ways of the white 
people. What we agreed upon was, that he was to remain 
with them five years: thinking by that time he would gain 
knowledge of the good ways and manners of the white 
people. Two years after he had been at Philadelphia, I and 
a number of other chiefs of our nation went there upon pub- 
lic business. When I arrived there I was anxious to see 
my grandson. And how was I surprised when I first saw 
him — he was in a tavern. The next place I saw him at, 
was in a house, gaming. And further I saw him in a bad 



202 LETTERS OF REV. ELK AN AH HOLMES 

house, where were bad women. What was my astonish- 
ment to see him in such company, and he but only a boy yet. 
And besides, I saw him dancing in a house where they 
teach dancing. Then all my expectations fell of thinking 
he would ever be of any service to our nations, for we know 
of no such things among us, of boys of such age as he was, 
going into such company and following such bad ways. 

"Father: Some time after I returned home, I had busi- 
ness to Genesee, where some of my people lived, where I 
found this young man in soldier's dress. The first request 
he made to me was, for two miles square of land, to support 
him to go about and attend to other business. 

"Father: While this grandson of mine was at school, 
we were looking to see how he would turn out ; intending 
if he did well, to send several more of our youth to be 
learned by the white people; but finding he has turned out 
so bad, our hearts fell, concluding that if we send more of 
our boys, and they should learn such bad ways as he had, 
that our land would be cut into small pieces, and our nation 
dispersed and ruined. 

"Father : We have now a particular favor to ask of you 
and your good Society. I have a mind to try once more. I 
have another grandson which we wish that you and your 
Society would take under your protection, and learn him the 
good customs of white people, and keep him from all the 
bad ways, for we believe from the good w r ords we have 
heard from your mouth, and the good talk sent to us by 
your good Society, that if you and they will be so kind as to 
favor us poor Indians by accepting this boy to teach him 
the good ways that you know and practice, we are in great 
hopes that he will be of great use to us Indians, by telling 
us of your good ways, to open our eyes to see how to walk- 
in your good paths. 

"Father: If you and your good Society will accept of 
this boy and take him under your care to instruct him, we 
will not undertake to direct you what you shall learn him, 
for we give him up altogether in your hands, to do with 
him as yon shall think best, for we believe vou are all good, 



FROM FORT NIAGARA, 1S00. 203 

wise men, and that you pity Indians, and know what will be 
for our good, and what to do with this boy better than we 
can tell you. 

''Father: You and your good Society know, that we 
Indians are poor. We are convinced that it is very expen- 
sive to give learning to youth. We think that you are so 
good, and have the welfare of Indians so much in your 
heart, that you will not expect us to pay anything for the 
education of this boy, for we are so poor that we are not 
able. 

"Father: We have now fully explained our mind to 
you about the business that we had not time to mention to 
you yesterday. And we now pray that the Great Good 
Spirit may bless you and the good Society that sent you to 
visit us ; and that he will protect you on your journey; and 
that you may not meet with any difficulty on the way, nor 
fall over any stumbling-block to hurt you ; but that you 
may arrive safe to see your good Society, and that you may 
have a joyful meeting, and find your children all in good 
health. 

"Father : We also pray that the Good Spirit may al- 
ways have his eyes over this boy that we now give up to 
you and your good Society, and that you may have it in 
your power to plant good things in him. We now deliver 
these strings of wampum to you, to accompany our talk to 
that great and good Society at New York, that sent you to 
visit us." 

We the subscribers, assisted as interpreters when the 
foregoing Address was delivered, and assisted the Rev. 
Elkanah Holmes to commit it to writing — And do hereby 
certify, That the above is as near to the phraseology and 
ideas of the speaker, as we are able to recollect. 

William Johnston, 
Nicholas Cusock. 

The foregoing application to me was very unexpected at 
the time, but I returned for answer to the sachem, that I 
was not prepared to take the boy home with me at my own 
expense, but if they would fit him out, and be at the ex- 



204 LETTERS OF REV. ELKANAH HOLMES. 

pense of taking him to New-York, I would venture to take 
charge of him this winter, and until next summer, and if the 
Directors of the Missionary Society did not think proper to 
accept of him, I would endeavor that he should be returned 
to them again without any further expence. 

He is to be amply provided for with clothes and money 
to go with me to New-York, according to my proposal. He 
is between thirteen and fourteen years of age. He is of the 
first family in the nation, by his mother's side, and, there- 
fore, is now a chief, according to the custom of the nation, 
and will be entitled to the first place in the nation, if he 
lives and does well. His father is a white man, a half-pay 
officer in the British service. His mother was part white, 
and the boy so white, that he would scarcely be suspected 
to be any ways related to the Indians. He speaks English 
very well. He has been to school, and I am told can read 
and write considerably well for such a boy. He is very ac- 
tive and sensible, and appears to be of a good disposition. 
He is well recommended to me by several white people. 
For these and several other reasons, I was induced to ac- 
cept of him in the manner I have mentioned. I hope it will 
meet with the approbation of the Directors of the Mission- 
ary Society, and with the blessing of God. 

Elkanah Holmes. 

Note — Prior to coming to Western New York as missionary Elkanah 
Holmes had compiled a small book entitled "A Church Covenant: including 
a summary of the Fundamental Doctrines of the Gospel." (New York: Printed 
by John Tiebout, at Homer's head, No. 358, Pearl Street. For the compiler, 
1797.) His characteristic independence is shown in the preface, in which, 
after stating that his compendium of faith and church order is compiled 
from different authors, he says: "I have not only presumed to abridge, but 
even ventured to add a few articles of my own composition. Besides, I 
have arranged the passages of Scripture, throughout the whole, in such order, 
as to me appeared most likely to assist the reader in determining whether the 
doctrines advanced are agreeable to the word of God or not. Whatever errors 
are in it, they are mine; no one is to blame for them but myself; I have 
adopted the whole as my present creed. I have concluded to venture (if the 
Lord will) to live and to die in the faith that I have herein advanced." It 
is highly probable that a work into which he had put so much earnestness, was 
Mr. Holmes's companion in his missionary work on Buffalo Creek and among 
the Tuscaroras. Its perusal reveals the character of his teachings. It and 
the missionary's Bible were, plausibly, the first books brought to Buffalo. A 
fac-simile of the title page is given herewith, from a copy in possession of the 
Buffalo Historical Society. 



CHURCH COVENANT 

INCLUDING A SUMMARY 
OF THE 

FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES 

OF THE 

GOSPEL 

COMPILED 



By ELK AN AH HOLMES. 



So then everyone of us fhall give account of himfclf to God. 

Rom xiv is. 

Find up the TeiUmony, feal the Lav/ among my Difciples- 
To the Law, and to the Teftlmony - Isai. viii. 16, 20- 



NEW-YORK 

Printed by m J ohn Tiebout, at Homer's Head, 

No* 358, Peakl.Street ; . 

FOR THE COMPILER. 

1.797 

[Elkanah Holmes' work : Fac-simile of title page. See p. 204.] 



V. 
VISIT OF REV. LEMUEL COVELL 

TO WESTERN NEW YORK AND CANADA, 
IN THE FALL OF 1803. 



The Rev. Lemuel Covell of Pittstown, Rensselaer Co., 
New York, and Elder Obed Warren of Salem, made a mis- 
sionary tour through Western New York and into Canada, 
in the fall of 1803, under the auspices of the Shaftsbury 
Baptist Association. This association was made up of Bap- 
tist churches in Western Massachusetts, Southern Vermont 
and Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. New York. Con- 
stituted in 1780, by 1798 the body numbered forty-seven 
churches, twenty-eight ministers and 3460 communicants. 
As early as 1S01, while yet some of the territory embraced 
in the organization had scarcely emerged from a pioneer 
condition, the attention of the Shaftsbury Association was 
turried to the field for missionary work to the westward. 
In the year named Mr. Covell proposed that a fund be raised 
by contribution, "for the purpose of sending missionaries 
to preach the gospel in destitute parts of our frontier settle- 
ments, and as far as we may have opportunity among the 
natives of the wilderness.'' This was the first step toward 
systematic missionary effort in Western New York, on the 
part of the Baptists, and was anticipated among other ortho- 
dox denominations only by the Presbyterians who, as we 
have seen, were represented in the field in 1800 by Elkanah 
Holmes — himself a Baptist. No one appears to have under- 



208 VISIT OF REV. LEMUEL COVELL 

taken a missionary tour to the westward for the Shaftsbury 
Association until 1802, in which year Caleb Blood made a 
journey of ten weeks, "through the country from Cayuga 
to the head of Lake Ontario," for which he received $30, 
and expended $22.34 on his mission. The editor of this 
volume has seen no detailed narrative of Elder Blood's 
journey. Mr. Covell left a pretty full journal* of the tour 
on which he and Obed Warren set out from Pittstown, 
August 23, 1803. That portion of the journal which bears 
on our immediate field is (with some indicated omissions) 
as follows : 

Monday, 19th [Sept.] : We . . . crossed the Genesee 
river, and rode together to a small settlement, called Gan- 
son's Settlement ; where Brother Warren stopped to preach 
in the evening, and I rode alone to Batavia, a small village, 
about 24 miles west of Genesee river; where I preached in 
the evening, and stayed all night. 

Tuesday, 20th. Brother Warren arrived about eleven 
o'clock in the morning; and about one in the afternoon we 
set off" to ride through what is called the Eighteen Mile 
Woods. We had not proceeded far before it began to rain. 
This was the first time we had any rain to ride in since we 
left home. We were in the wilderness, without house or 
shelter, all the afternoon ; and most of the time it rained 
excessively. We were soaked to the skin with water, and 
had very muddy riding. A little after sunset, we arrived 
at a tavern, just at the end of the long woods, kept by a 
Mr. Van Deventer. Here we found the house full of 
people, who had been doing town business, and were de- 
tained by the excessive rain ; many of whom lived at such 
a distance, they could not get home that night. When we 
arrived they were in a very high and merry mood — some 
singing foolish songs — some laughing loud — some swear- 

*"A Narrative of a Missionary Tour through the Western Settlements of 
the State of New York, and into the Southwestern parts of the Province of 
Upper Canada: Performed by Lemuel Covell. of Pittstown. in company with 
Elder Obed Warren, of Salem, in the Fall of 1803; With an Appendix, con- 
taining sever ll Speeches to and from the Indians." Pittstown, 1804. Printed 
uS Chap. IV., in "Memoir of the late Rev. Lemuel Covell. missionary to the 
Tuscarora Indians," etc.. by Mrs. D. C. Brown; Brandon [\'t. J, 1S39. 



TO WESTERN NEW YORK, 1803. 209 

ing — and some almost helpless : all seemed to feel, more or 
less, the effects of whiskey. In the midst of such a revel 
we could not expect to enjoy much tranquility. We were 
determined, however, to try how far a portion of trutJi 
might prove an antidote to the disorder that seemed so 
prevalent among them. As soon as our poor suffering 
horses were provided for, we informed the people of the 
house that we were missionaries ; and that, as Providence 
had cast our lot among them for the night, we were willing 
to preach to them, if they were disposed to give their atten- 
tion. The landlord made known to them our proposal, 
which had its desired effect. Their carnal mirth stopped, 
almost in an instant ; they expressed a willingness to hear 
preaching; and within fifteen minutes there was almost 
a profound silence, in place of so much noise and confusion. 
As soon as the necessary preparations were made, I went to 
preaching, in wet clothes, without changing a single article 
of them for dry ones, and had a very comfortable time in 
preaching, and a very attentive assembly. After sermon a 
few of them went away, and the remainder treated us with 
all the civility and respect due to our character. This we 
venture to record as one evidence of the benefit resulting to 
society from a preached gospel, even in this world. That 
which will calm such tumultuous assemblies, so that sober 
men can enjoy peace, must be truly beneficial. 

Wednesday, 21st. We rode to Buffalo, a small village, 
at the mouth of a creek of that name, just at the foot of 
Lake Erie; where, to our inexpressible joy, we met with 
Elder Elkanah Holmes, missionary to the northwestern In- 
dians*, and his lady, who received us with the utmost civil- 
ity. This, however, was not the place of their residence — 
that being at Fort Sktsher,* about 27 miles down the Ni- 
agara river; but Elder Holmes was waiting at Buffalo for 
an answer from the Seneca nation of Indians, who were 
holding a council at their village, about five or six miles up 
the Buffalo creek, on the subject of building a house at their 
said village for public worship, and for educating their 
children. 

•Fort Schlosser. 



210 VISIT OF REV. LEMUEL COVELL 

We intended to have crossed the Niagara river, into the 
province of Upper Canada, the next day; but Mr. Holmes 
was not willing we should leave him till he had received his 
answer from the Indians ; and we also had a mind to stay 
and hear it. We put up our horses where they might be 
recruiting a little, and spent three days in this place; dur- 
ing which time, we preached twice to the people, and had 
much agreeable conversation with Mr. Holmes. There is 
no stated meeting for religious worship held in this place, 
nor any religious society formed. 

On Saturday the 24th, Red Jacket, the chief sachem of 
the Senecas, waited on Mr. Holmes, to inform him that they 
had pretty much got through with their consultations, and 
concluded to have the house built. After hearing this mes- 
sage, we took leave of Mr. Holmes, and agreed to attend 
with him, at the Tuscarora village, the next Saturday. This 
afternoon we crossed over to Fort Erie, in the British do- 
minions, and put up at Doctor Chapin's, a gentleman from 
the State of New York, who resides there. The Doctor and 
his lady treated us with the utmost friendship and hos- 
pitality. 

Lord's Day, 25th. We went about two miles down the 
river, where the people were notified to attend public wor- 
ship. There was a pretty large assembly, considering the 
situation of the place ; and the people gave very strict at- 
tention while we both preached — the one in the morning, 
and the other in the afternoon. 

Monday, 26th. We set out this morning upon a tour 
down the river, and spent the week, till Friday night, in 
riding and preaching from one place to another, along the 
river and its vicinity. In the course of this week we formed 
an acquaintance with a number of people who treated us 
with the utmost friendship and hospitality and did every- 
thing in their power to afford us such information and as- 
sistance as was necessary and useful to us in the prosecu- 
tion of our mission. Among others, a Mr. Archibald 
Thompson, who lives at Stanford,* about seven or eight 

* Stamford, Ont. 



TO WESTERN NEW YORK, 1803. 211 

miles below the Great Falls, was peculiarly serviceable to 
us. He nursed our horses in the best manner — found us 
horses to ride, accompanied us himself where we went, in 
many instances; in short, he seemed anxious that nothing 
should be lacking- on his part to render the place agreeable 
to us, and enable us to be serviceable to the people. Besides 
him, many others in the same place were very kind. About 
two miles from the village of Newark* lives a gentleman 
by the name of Sweezy, a member of the provincial parlia- 
ment in this province, who distinguished himself as our 
friend. On Friday of this week, Brother Warren preached 
at his house, by his particular request. While we were 
there, we were treated with peculiar friendship ; and at 
evening he and his lady accompanied us to Oueenston, 
where we had an appointment for evening preaching. After 
worship, when he took his leave of us, he insisted we must 
visit him again before we left the province ; and solicited 
hard that one or both of us should preach at Newark as 
soon as we could make it convenient. This night we lodged 
at a Mr. Rose's in Queenston, where we received every 
mark of friendship that could be shown. Mr. Rose and his 
lady were formerly from New England ; they are neither of 
them professors of religion, but they behaved toward us in 
a Christian-like manner. 

Saturday, Oct. 1st. This morning we crossed the Niagara 
river at Oueenston Ferry, and went about half a mile up 
the river, to a Major Beech's, where we met Elder Holmes, 
and went with him to the Tuscarora village, about three 
miles from this place. We spent the afternoon very agree- 
ably, with 4he Indians, and at evening returned to Major 
Beech's and took refreshment. Brother Warren crossed 
the river again this evening, in order to spend the Sabbath 
at Stanford, and I concluded to stay and spend the Sabbath 
with Elder Holmes, among the Indians. 

Lord's Day, 2d. After breakfast we went to the village ; 
the Indians, at their usual time, assembled, and Elder 
Holmes delivered them a very excellent discourse, which 

♦Now Niagara, Ont., called Niagara-on-the-Lake. 



212 VISIT OF REV. LEMUEL COVELL 

was interpreted to them in due order. After a short pause, 
I delivered them a speech ; signifying that, as I was sent 
out by the Shaftsbury Association, as a missionary, I had 
called to see our Indian brethren, and form an acquaintance 
with them ; and, if it met their approbation, to instruct them 
in. the Gospel. I was answered by their chief warrior in a 
short but very pertinent speech, expressive of their thanks 
to the Great Spirit, for putting it into the hearts of the white 
people to visit them, and instruct them for their good; and 
likewise to my brethren for sending missionaries to visit 
them and to me for calling to see them ; and at the close of 
his speech, informed me, that his nation would be very glad 
to have me spend some time with them before I returned 
home. I agreed to preach to them, on my return from Long 
Point, in three weeks from this day. We then took leave 
of them, returned to Major Beech's, and took some refresh- 
ment; and at four in the afternoon I preached to the white 
people, at a Mr. Cook's, in the same neighborhood ; and in 
the evening at Queenston, on the other side of the river. 

[The missionaries continued to travel westward, preach- 
ing and visiting at Thirty-Mile Creek, Burford, the Mo- 
hawk settlement on the Grand river, and Long Point. The 
journal is here omitted until the date of their return to the 
Niagara.] 

Saturday, 22d [Oct.]. This morning I went to Queens- 
ton, crossed the river, and went to Maj. Beech's, where I 
met with Llder Holmes, after an absence of three weeks, 
and went with him to the Tuscarora village, and had a 
pleasing interview with the Indians. At evening we re- 
turned to Major Beech's, where we met with a Mr. Palmer. 
a Baptist minister, from Peeks-Kill, accompanied by a 
Deacon Bentley, from the same place, and a Mr. Marsh. 
from New York, with whom we passed the evening very 
agreeably. 

Lord's Day, 23d. After breakfast we all went to the 
village, where we met a pretty large collection of the In- 
dians and a number of white people ; when, for the first 
time, I preached to my Indian brethren, by an interpreter. 
We spent some time with them, after preaching, and then 



TO WESTERN NEW YORK, 1803. 213 

returned to Mr. Cook's, where I preached at four o'clock, 
and spent the night. 

Monday, 24th. According to previous engagement, I 
crossed the river, and went in company with our friends 
from New York, and Mr. Thompson, to Newark, where I 
preached in the evening, and went home with my friend 
Mr. Sweezey for lodgings. The next morning I tarried 
with him till my company arrived, when I bid him and his 
family an affectionate adieu, after receiving the most press- 
ing solicitation to call on him, if I ever came that way again, 
and his kind wishes for my prosperity and safe return 
home; and rode to Queenston, where we parted with Mr. 
Thompson, crossed the river, and proceeded to Elder 
Holmes', at Fort Slusher. I spent the remainder of the 
week with great satisfaction, at this place ; preached once, 
and made preparations for a council with the Indians on 
Saturday. Elder Holmes and his lady treated me with 
every mark of friendship and hospitality. 

Saturday, 29th. Elder Holmes accompanied me to the 
village, where we held a council with the Indians : I gave 
them a talk in writing, and agreed to meet them in council 
the next Monday, to receive their answer. 

Lord's Day, 30th. I preached to them again, and had 
much conversation with them, after preaching ; and then 
went across the river, and preached in the evening, at Mr. 
Thompson's, at Stanford, where to my great joy I met with 
Brother Warren, after an absence of almost a fortnight. 
The account he gave me of his tour while we were apart, 
added greatly to my joy and encouragement. 

Monday, 31st. Brother Warren went to Newark, and I, 
according to agreement, crossed over to the Indian village, 
where I met with Elder Holmes, held the proposed council 
with them, and received their talk, to be presented to the 
Shaftsbury Association. After our council was concluded, 
I took a solemn and affectionate leave of them, and returned 
to Queenston, in company with Elder Holmes, and lodged 
at Mr. Rose's. The next morning we went to Mr. Thomp- 
son's, and spent the day very agreeably ; and at evening 



214 VISIT OF REV. LEMUEL COVELL 

Elder Holmes preached a most excellent sermon on the na- 
ture of gospel preaching. After worship, Brother Warren 
arrived and we all spent the night together. 

Wednesday, Nov. 2. This morning after prayer, we 
had a solemn parting with Elder Holmes and Mr. Thomp- 
son's family, and rode to Fort Erie, where we crossed the 
river and spent the night at Buffalo. 

Before I proceed any further in my narrative I would 
beg the attention of the reader to a few remarks on the situ- 
ation of the people in that part of the province of Upper 
Canada which we visited. 

Fort Erie is at the foot of Lake Erie, just where the 
Niagara river falls out of that lake. In the neighborhood 
of this fort is a pretty large settlement, and the people en- 
tirely destitute of a preached gospel. The village of New- 
ark lies on the south shore of Lake Ontario, just where it 
receives the Niagara river. There is an extensive settle- 
ment contiguous to this village, and the people almost with- 
out gospel privileges. There is a Mr. Addison,* an Episco- 
palian minister, who lives not far from Newark; and a Mr. 
Young, a Presbyterian, who lives in town ; otherways the 
people are entirely destitute, unless now and then supplied 
by the Methodist riding preachers ; and that very seldom. 
The distance from Fort Erie to Newark is upwards of 
thirty miles, and all the way pretty thickly inhabited on the 
river; and, in many places, large settlements back from 
the river. At the mouth of Chippewa creek, a little above 

*The Rev. Robert Addison, first missionary in the Niagara district of "the 
venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," and first 
rector of St. Mark's, Niagara. Ont. lie was appointed missionary of Niagara, 
July 17, 1791, but did not reach his territory — coming from England — until 
June, 1792. |Iis residence was at Niagara, but throughout a long pastorate he 
traveled, preached and baptised at Grimsby, St. Catharines, Ancaster, Jordan. 
Chippewa, Fort Erie and westward as far as Long Point. He was the first 
chaplain to the Parliament of Upper Canada, at Niagara and later at York 
(Toronto). He officiated at the burial of Gen. Sir Isaac Brock, and Col. John 
McDonald, who fell together at Oueenston, when they were buried together in 
a bastion of Fort George. October 16, 1812. He was military chaplain for many 
years, death ending his labors, October 6, 1829, in his 75th year. His remains 
rest under the chancel of St. Mark's, in the walls of which edifice a tablet is 
placed to his memory. That church still owns his library, of several hundred 
volumes. 



TO WESTERN NEW YORK, 1803. 215 

Niagara Falls, is a large and thick-settled neighborhood 
(almost a village), and a settlement of considerable extent 
up the said creek. A town by the name of Stanford lies on 
the river, a little below the Great Falls, that is pretty large 
and thickly inhabited. In this town there is a Air. Eastman, 
a Presbyterian minister, who preaches statedly in three dif- 
ferent places. The village of Queenston is situated on the 
bank of the river, about seven miles above Newark ; in its 
vicinity is a pretty large settlement ; and within two or 
three miles, a small village, at the Four Mile Creek. These 
two villages, and the adjacent settlements, are entirely des- 
titute of stated preaching. 

[The journal gives an extended account of religious con- 
ditions in this part of the province ; mentions that besides 
two Episcopalians, one of them Air. Addison, the other "a 
Mr. Phelps, not far from the head of Lake Ontario" ; three 
Presbyterians and "a German of the Lutheran order.'' set- 
tled about ten or fifteen miles from Queenston, there were 
no ordained preachers in the district "except the Methodists, 
and not many of them. . . . The mission of Elder Blood, 
according to appearance, was attended with many happy 
consequences. . . . Mr. Dunlap and Mr. Proudfit have 
each made a tour in that country, and have left evident 
traces of their usefulness." After a long exhortation to his 
brethren to prosecute the work, Mr. Covell continues :] 

On our return from the province of Canada, let me in- 
vite the reader to call and make a short visit with the poor 
savages. Elder Elkanah Holmes is appointed by the New 
York Missionary Society, as a missionary to the north- 
western Indians. His labors have been chiefly with the 
Senecas and Tuscaroras; and much of the greater part of 
the time with the latter. The greater part of the Senecas 
are well inclined to receive the gospel, and the maxims of 
civilization ; though there are some of them opposed to it, 
which causes some trouble, and in some degree retards his 
success with them ; notwithstanding the balance of circum- 
stances is much in his favor with them. With the Tusca- 
roras he has been much more successful. In less than two 
years, he has had the happiness to prevail on them to aban- 



216 VISIT OF REV. LEMUEL CO V ELL, 1803. 

don many of their savage notions ; they have entered into 
solemn covenant with him, to abstain from the use of 
spiritous liquors, of all kinds ; to observe the Sabbath as a 
day of religious worship, and to do everything in their 
power to restrain licentiousness among the rising genera- 
tion, and become acquainted with the Christian religion. 
To this covenant they adhere, with a scrupulosity that might 
be an admonition to white people. There is a very con- 
venient house erected in their village (at the expense of the 
State) for the purpose of meeting for worship and educat- 
ing their children. They have an English school taught by 
a young Indian, who has a good share of English learning, 
and is a very sober, respectable man. The solemn and or- 
derly manner in which they attend public worship ; the cor- 
rectness and melody of their singing, and the solicitude 
and affection with which they listen to a preached gospel, 
afford incontestible evidence of the success of his labors 
among them ; and at the same time, hold out the strongest 
inducements to prosecute the missionary business among 
other tribes of the same color. . . . On the morning of 
Thursday, the 3d of November, we left Buffalo and pursued 
our journey homewards. . . . 

Note — In an Appendix to his journal, Mr. Covell tells of the council which 
was in progress at the Seneca village, as to building a house to serve as church 
and school, for the decision of which Elder Holmes was waiting when the mis- 
sionaries arrived in Buffalo. "At this council, the principal chiefs of the Onon- 
daga and Cayuga nations were present. The object was to effect a reconciliation 
between the two contending parties, so that the house might be built, the mis- 
sionary received and the nation instructed in the principles of the gospel and 
civilization, by general and amicable agreement. Much depended on the result 
of this council. The famous orator, Red Jacket, was a strenuous advocate for 
receiving the gospel and building the house; and a majority of the nation were 
on his side. After counselling together on the subject upwards of ten days, they 
came to a conclusion to have the house built, and invited Mr. Holmes to meet 
them at their council house." Mr. Covell gives the speech of Red Jacket on 
this occasion, in which that orator avowed a friendliness to the work of the 
missionaries in curious contrast to his attitude a few years later, in the days of 
Hyde and Harris. Mr. Holmes' reply to Red Jacket, on the occasion referred 
to, is also given, as is also Mr. Covell's own talk to the Indians at Tuscarora 
village, October 29, 1803. 



VI. 
VISIT OF GERARD T. HOPKINS. 



A QUAKER AMBASSADOR TO THE INDIANS WHO 
VISITED BUFFALO IN 1804. 



Note — In 1804 an Indian Committee of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the 
Society of Friends, went on a mission to the Indians at Fort Wayne. The party 
consisted of George Ellicott (a relative of Joseph Ellicott), Gerard T. Hopkins 
and Philip Dennis. Returning from Fort Wayne, by vessel down Lake Erie, 
these Quakers arrived at Fort Erie on May 10th. The journal of the mission, 
written in 1804 by Gerard T. Hopkins, was published as a pamphlet in that 
year, and reprinted for private distribution in 1862, with an appendix compiled 
by George Ellicott's daughter, Mrs. Martha E. Tyson. The following extract, 
relating to the visit in Buffalo and on the Niagara, is from a copy containing 
important manuscript corrections and additions supplied by Mrs. Tyson. Gerard 
T. Hopkins was an approved minister of the Society of Friends. 

8th (Fifth month [May]). During last night lay at 
Presqueile,* and this morning put on shore the passengers 
bound for that place, after which the wind heading us, we 
lay at anchor the rest of the day. Presqueile is a town on 
the American side of the lake, containing about forty houses, 
several of which are stores. A small garrison of the United 
States is stationed here. 

9th. About 10 o'clock last night, a light favorable breeze 
sprung up, which encouraged us to proceed. The vessel had 
been all night and during the day under sail. At 8 o'clock 
in the evening we dropped anchor, within four miles of 
Niagara river. Our commander says that the channel lead- 



Presqu' Isle, now Erie, Pa. 



218 VISIT OF GERARD T. HOPKINS 

ing into the harbor is rocky and dangerous, and deems it 
imprudent to attempt an entrance at night. 

It is a pleasing reflection, that we are so near to the end 
of our passage over the lake ; and we are gladdened with 
the hope, that we shall shortly prosecute the remainder of 
our journey over terra firma, where we shall not be subject 
to the impediments of opposing winds, and be freed from 
the dangers of storms. Lake Erie is a very beautiful body 
of water, 300 miles in length and generally fifty to sixty in 
width. Much of the distance we have sailed has been out 
of sight of land. The water of the lake appears to be of a 
beautiful deep green color, but when taken up in a glass 
vessel is to be admired for its transparency. I think it is, 
without exception, the sweetest water I ever drank. 

10th. At 4 o'clock this morning our anchor was again 
hoisted, and in about half an hour we were safely moored at 
Fort Erie. This is a small fort on the Canadian shore of the 
lake, garrisoned by the British. Immediately on our ar- 
rival we set out on foot for Buffalo, distant five miles, a 
town situated at the junction of Buffalo Creek with Lake 
Erie, and near the commencement of the outlet of the lake, 
commonly called Niagara river. The object of this excur- 
sion was to obtain a conveyance across the country to the 
nearest line of public stages. We were successful in an 
application to one of the inhabitants, who agreed to furnish 
us with a light wagon, to be in readiness two days hence. 
Here we met Erasmus* Granger, an agent of the Cnited 
States in the Indian Department. We had conversation 
with him at considerable length on Indian affairs. He tells 
us that many individuals amongst the Indians of his district 
(who are of the Six Nations) are turning their attention to 
agriculture. 

About mid-day we returned in a small boat to our vessel. 
After dining on board, we went on shore at Fort Erie, and 
joined by our Commodore and Lieutenant Cox, a passenger 
with us from Detroit, we engaged a light wagon to return 
with us at four o'clock tomorrow morning, to view the 

*Erastus. 



TO BUFFALO IN 1804. 219 

Falls of Niagara, distant about eighteen miles. We ex- 
tended our walk for a considerable distance along the shore 
of Lake Erie ; it is here composed of a solid body of lime- 
stone, beautifully marked. 

nth. This morning we set out for the Falls of Niagara; 
our road passed near the margin of Niagara river, from the 
lake to the Falls, a distance of eighteen miles, which afforded 
us a view both of the river, and of the adjacent improve- 
ments. The land is generally under cultivation and is tol- 
erably improved. The soil appears rather cold and stiff ; 
but some of the meadows are nearly equal to the best I ever 
saw; some of the farms belong to members of our Society, 
and we are told that there is a meeting of Friends not far 
distant from the Falls. Considerable emigrations are mak- 
ing from the United States, to this as well as other parts of 
Upper Canada, owing to the very advantageous terms upon 
which the British Government dispose of the land, being 
scarcely removed from a gift. 

We reached a Canadian town called Chippewa, to break- 
fast, after which we walked to the Falls, a distance of two 
miles. This was a walk, of which every step seemed to in- 
crease curiosity and surprise. Our attention was soon ar- 
rested by a cloud which hangs perpetually over the Falls for 
the height of 600 feet, arising from the dashing of the 
waters. [There is a continual increase in the velocity of the 
water, from the commencement of the river to the Falls. 
From the town of Chippewa to the Falls, the velocity is very 
great ; the water dashes against the rocks, rising many feet 
in height, from the force, occasioning a very confused ap- 
pearance, and incessant roar. It is observable that within a 
short distance of the Cataract (no doubt owing to less fall), 
the water seems to make a tremulous pause, as though in 
doubtful suspense.]* 

As we advanced to the Falls the solid earth and rocks 
shook, or seemed to shake, under our feet, whilst the roar of 
the waters so overpowered every other sound that, notwith- 

*Passage in brackets is in the original MS., but not in the journal as 
printed. 



220 VISIT OF GERARD T. HOPKINS 

standing we were tete-a-tete, it was necessary to raise the 
voice to a very loud key in order to be heard. Meanwhile 
the cloud above mentioned issued continually in what we 
sometimes hear called a Scotch mist. 

There is a common saying, ''Those who know no danger, 
fear none." This was our case on returning to the extrem- 
ity of an over-jutting rock, called Table Rock, opposite to 
the great cataract, in order to gratify our curiosity, in a peep 
down the precipice which is more than 150 feet perpendicu- 
lar. In passing afterwards a short distance below this rock, 
we were alarmed with the discovery, that the place on which 
we had stood was but a thin shell, the Falls having under- 
mined the rock for many feet. Proceeding a little lower 
down the Falls, we again found that our second stand was 
almost as baseless. We, however, supposed that the danger 
was not equal to our apprehensions, as the names of great 
numbers of visitors were cut in these rocks, near their ex- 
tremities. I shall not attempt to give a particular descrip- 
tion of the Falls of Niagara, which has been done by persons 
who have visited them, for the especial purpose of gratify- 
ing the curious. [Sufficient to say, that the waters of Lake 
Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair. Lake 
Erie and several small lakes, all pass over the cataract, on 
the way through Lake Ontario, and thence down the River 
St. Lawrence, to the ocean ; that the river is here but three- 
fourths of a mile in width ; that these waters pour down 
over a perpendicular height of more than 150 feet, the whole 
of this width ; that the noise from this vast fall of water is 
to be heard for the distance of forty-five miles, and finally, 
that the scene appeared to me whilst on the spot, to be awful, 
diversified, and sublime, beyond description.]* After we 
had gratified our curiosity in a view of them we returned 
to Fort Erie, and after night were rowed in a small boat to 
Buffalo town, in order to be in readiness for setting out 
homeward in the morning. 

1 2th. The person who has engaged to take us on our 
journey this morning has disappointed us. The circum- 

*Passage in original MS., omitted from the printed journal. 



TO BUFFALO IN 1804. 221 

stance is a trial, as we have become very anxious to reach 
our homes. Being at leisure we accompanied the Indian 
agent in a ride, four miles above Buffalo Creek, to an Indian 
village of the Senecas, one of the tribes of the Six Nations. 

They are making considerable progress in agriculture, 
live in tolerable log houses, and have a number of cattle, 
horses and hogs. We saw many of them at work ; they 
were preparing the ground for the plough by rolling logs, 
taking up stumps, etc. 

We also saw among them a large plough at work drawn 
by three yoke of oxen, and attended by three Indians. They 
all appeared to be very merry, and to be pleased with our 
visit. The land upon which these Indians are settled is of 
a superior quality. We saw amongst them Red Jacket, 
Farmer's Brother, and several other distinguished chiefs. 
Many of these Indians wore in their ears, and round their 
necks, strung upon strings, several descriptions of lake 
shells. Here we met with Saccarissa, a principal chief of 
the Tuscarora tribe. He has come for the purpose of being 
assisted by the agent in vesting fifteen thousand dollars in 
the purchase of land from the Holland Land Company. 
They have greatly declined hunting, and are becoming agri- 
culturists. The Tuscarora Indians removed from North 
Carolina many years ago, and were received into the then 
Five Nations, or Iroquois Indians, who gave them a small 
tract of country, which they now think wants enlarging. 
It is a fact, that the Six Nations have stock in the Bank of 
the United States to the amount of more than one hundred 
thousand dollars, from which they draw regular dividends. 
This is money which they received some years ago from 
our Government for the sale of their lands. The chiefs and 
principal people took the advice of General Washington, in 
making bank stock of their money. 

13th. This morning we set out from Buffalo in a farm 
wagon drawn by two horses,, and traveled 32 miles through 
a rough and inferior country. 

14th. Proceeded 23 miles and reached Batavia, a new 
town, handsomely situated. We have had a muddy, dis- 



222 VISIT OF GERARD T. HOPKIXS, 1804. 

agreeable road, through a country too flat to be desirable. 
The land is pretty rich, and very heavily timbered. We 
have been all day followed by millions of mosquitoes ; 
crossed a handsome stream called the Tanawantae, and were 
told at the Ford that a little distance above us 120 rattle 
snakes lay dead. These snakes were killed by some fisher- 
men with their spears, the warm weather having brought 
them out of their dens. People are making settlement here 
very rapidly. 

[From this point they traveled across the Genesee, pass- 
ing near Hemlock Lake, and thence to Canandaigua, where 
they got the stage ; then on by Geneva, Cayuga Lake at 
the long bridge, Utica, down the Mohawk to Albany by the 
Hudson to New York and by stage to Baltimore, where they 
ended their journey, May 27, 1804, having been absent 
''three months and four days and traveled about 2,000 
miles."! 



VII. 
VISIT OF REV JOSEPH AVERY. 



FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT IN POSSESSION 

OF HIS GREAT-GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER, MRS. 

H. B. DOW, ROCHESTER, N. Y. 



Tuesday, Aug. 27, 1805. Set out* on this mission in the 
afternoon and lodged at Mr. Hyde's. 

Wednesday, 28. Morning, rode to Lenox and attended 
to the business of my suit in court ; then rode to N. Leb- 
anon. There was at 3 o'clock a sacramental lecture. 
Messrs. Perry, Moss, Waters and Robbins were present. 
It rained before I arrived. Two sermons were preached, 
and I preached the last. Went to Mr. Churchil's for lodg- 
ing. We had a ministerial chat in the evening, and Mr. 

*From Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Mass. Joseph Avery was a missionary in 
the service of the Berkshire (Mass.) Missionary Society, and made several 
journeys through New York State in the latter years of the eighteenth and 
early years of the nineteenth century. On his father's side he was descended 
from Christopher Avery who with his son James, reached Salem on the ship 
Arabella, ten years after the coming of the Mayflower. Both father and son 
were men of distinction in the colony; it was the latter who in 1656 built the 
house in Groton, Ct., known as "the Hive of the Averys," a quaint, roomy 
structure which sheltered eight generations of his descendants. It was burned 
in 1894, and subsequently the site was deeded to the Avery Park Memorial 
Association, and there in 1900 a monument was dedicated to the old colonial 
Avery, who in his day was a judge, and second in military command under 
Governor Winthrop. The missionary Avery, whose journal is here printed, founded 
many churches, among them one in Bloomfield, Monroe County, which in 1S99 
celebrated its 100th anniversary. 



224 VISIT OF REV. JOSEPH AVERY 

Williston and Wood, returning- from a mission of 15 weeks 
from the Hampshire Society attend with us an hour or so. 

Thursday, 29. I set out early; it [was] soon rainy; 
when I came to Schermerhorn's Tavern it rained hard from 
9 to 2, when it came only a mist. Rode to Albany, 20 miles, 
in the afternoon ; in the whole, 2j miles. 

Friday, 30. Rode to Bern 21 miles, visited two families. 

Saturday 31st. Visited three families; preached in the 
afternoon at a conference, and a prayer-meeting of the 
church. 

Lord's Day September 1st. Preached three sermons to 
an attentive audience ; one man 28 years of age said he had 
never heard but two sermons in his life before then. Three 
dollars were contributed. 

Monday, 2d. Rode to Cobus-Kill. Made an appoint- 
ment to preach the last Sabbath in my mission at Old 
Schohare. 

Tuesday, 3d. Rode to Springfield, 30 miles. 

Wednesday, 4th. Attended the funeral of a Mr. Brus- 
ler's daughter who moved last Spring from West Hamp- 
ton. His son married a daughter of Mr. Charles Taylor, 
from Tyringham. After the funeral I rode. 

Thursday, 5th. Rode to Paris. Called on Rev. Messrs. 
Steel and Horton, besides visiting seven families in my way. 
I arrived at Verona on Friday the 6th of the month. 

At Verona I spent two Sabbaths and the days of the 
week between, only one day I went to Vernon, 12 miles. I 
was in the town eight days ; I preached 8 times, visited 22 
families, attended two conferences. There have been no 
new instances of awakening since July. About that time 
three Baptist ministers came into the place and zealously 
preached the necessity of going down into the water, and 
altho' they made no proselytes, yet it made some disputations 
for a short season, and seriousness ceased in the minds of 
many, then apparently awakened, and no new instances 
since, but there remain happy fruits of the awakening : 20 
are added to the church, 5 more are propounded and several 
more contemplate coming forward soon. 



TO BUFFALO IN 1805. 225 

Monday 16th. I set out for Batavia, in the County of 
Genesee. On Wednesday in the afternoon I reached Genevy 
[Geneva], where Mr. Chapman presides. A number of 
ministers and elders of churches were assembled in presby- 
tery; Mr. Chapman was moderator and Mr. Chadwick 
scribe; Mr. Woodruff, Mr. Higgins, Mr. Jones, were mem- 
bers. Mr. Stewart, whom I saw at Homer on my last mis- 
sion mentioned in that journal, now a licentiate, was present; 
a man well reported of. I attended with the Presbytery 
until Thursday 10 o'clock very agreeably, when I left them 
and arrived at Ganson's Settlement* 19 miles beyond the 
Genesee River on Saturday 21st. 

Lord's Day, 226.. Preached twice in the day to a very 
decent assembly in a schoolhouse ; they gave good attention. 
Appointed a conference in the evening at Esq. Bates's ; it 
was rainy and but few came in. 

Monday, 23d. Visited four families who appeared to be 
glad to be noticed by ministers, they are chiefly young fam- 
ilies in this place, appear decent, but not one professor of 
religion. Judge Esau [ ?] Plat f Piatt ?] is an Episcopal 
professor, is a decent man, hospitable and kind ; attended on 
the Sabbath with his family. 

While I was having my horse's shoe set I was conducted 
to a strange monument in the woods, a poil [pile] of dirt 
as large as 20 cord coalpit ; a tree has grown out of its top 
about 18 inches through ; it has been dug in and human 
bones found in it, some of a very large length ; the whole 
contents unknown. 

I travelled from this place to Batavia in the afternoon, 
\2 miles to Landlord Row's, where a young woman lay a 
corpse, who had lived in the house, a maid by the name of 

Llaves, her mother was niece to old Mr. of Tvrimr- 

ham. Betsy Spring was here at work. 

Tuesday, 24. Attended on the funeral at one o'clock 
and preached ; a large number of people attended with 
solemnity. The night before an aged woman died by the 
name of Munger, a widow without children ; her husband 

*Le Roy, N. Y. 



226 VISIT OF REV. JOSEPH AVERY 

built the house where I put up. He was admitted to bail 
on an indictment for beastiality, and went to the British and 
forfeited his bonds ; his bondsmen took his estate : but not 
finding himself safe among the British was seen to be re- 
turning privately, but was supposed to be killed by the 
Tonawanda Indians for witchcraft. The woman was a decent 
person, and respected, but no relation here. I attend her 
funeral at 4 in the afternoon about two miles from this. 
In the evening a man by the name of Stuart, a transient 
man, a bachellor, supposed to have no property, after an 
illness of a very few days, departed this life. I preached at 
his funeral the next day at one o'clock. 

Thursday, 26. There have been but 3 grown persons 
die in this place before these three since it was settled which 
is two years last Spring. I visited a number of families in 
the day and traveled about 12 miles. 

Friday, 2J. Continued visiting all day, and in the even- 
ing preached at the Court House. 

Saturday, 28. Visited up street to a number of families. 

Lord's Day, 29. Preached both parts of the day at the 
Court House. 

Monday 30th. Left Batavia for the westward. Tra- 
velled 20 miles in the Queenstown road, mostly a wilderness. 

Tuesday, Oct. 1. Went off from this road and visited 
a settlement called Slaton's [or Haton's?] and preached in 
the evening to a considerable number of people who at- 
tended decently and were glad of an opportunity to hear. 
They began here two years ago and never had a sermon 
before or a meeting of any kind on the Sabbath or any 
other day for religious worship. Esq. Warner is here. 

Wednesday, 2d. Travelled seven miles to and on the 
Queenstown Road to Wilbers' Esq. Tavern. He is a very 
decent man. His wife is Dr. Hand's [?] daughter of 
Bloomfield. It was now 10 o'clock and 11 miles to the next 
house, and began to rain and continued most of the rest of 
the day. I was kindly entertained here until 

Thursday 3d, when I travelled on 18 miles toward Ni- 
agara to the Tuscarora Village. Mr. Elkany Llomes 
[Elkanah Holmes] a Baptist missionary from the X. Y. 



TO BUFFALO IN 1805. 237 

Missionary Society, is preaching to them. He lives in a 
room in their meeting-house. He blowed his shell which 
is the token for calling an assembly, and they came to- 
gether in the evening. When according [to] their custom 
I was introduced to them by Mr. Holmes, the chief then 
addressed me by the interpreter with a speech, showing 
their readiness to hear what I had to say unto them. I 
gave them a short history of my travel there and the design 
of my visit and then gave them a short discourse by an in- 
terpreter and concluded by a prayer in English. 

Friday, 4th. Went to Niagara Landing and notified an 
evening lecture; but nobody came. 

Saturday, 5th. Had calculated to go on in the morning 
to Buffalow ; but it rained and the road in this side was 
very bad for strangers. I concluded to stay here over the 
Sabbath ; and this day I visited every house in the village, 
7 in number. There are a few more at the distance of 
about 2 1-2 miles. This is in the town of Ere [Erie], is 95 
miles long and 20 wide. This settlement goes by the name 
of Lewiston. Some of the people here are very rough, the 
place has the name of being worse than the heathen, but I 
found families that appeared decent. I put up at Capt. 
Beech's. Mr. Ira Benjamin lives here, and Harris who 
married Capt. Teag's [ ?] daughter. This place is seven 
miles from the Castle. [Fort Niagara.] 

Lord's Day, 6th. Preached to about 50 people. They 
attend soberly. One wagon load of people came 9 miles. 

Monday 7. Crossed the ferry to Oueenston, in Upper 
Canada, and traveled up on a very pleasant road bv the side 
of Niagara River. Went down to the Falls and took a 
view of them, and the mills on the rapids, and then pur- 
sued on toward the outlet of Lake Eri. I called at Chip- 
away. Here is a river navigable with boats for about 100 
miles into the country. There are people on this road from 
almost all parts of the world and of different professions. 
I put up night in a settlement of Germans by the profession 
of menin [Mennonists] and lodged at the house of their 
teacher. There are not far from them Germans who call 
their profession Dunkers. 



228 VISIT OF REV. JOSEPH AVERY 

Tuesday 8th, came to the ferry but the wind was soJiigli 
that the flat could not cross. The lake looked like the sea 
in a storm and the rapids like [illegible] race. 

Wednesday 9th. Crossed the ferry and travelled on the 
beach 3 miles to Buffalow village. This is a new settle- 
ment begun in settling but two years, mostly New England 
people. I visited several families and traveled on toward 
Batavia, visited several families and put up at Mr. Ran- 
som's from Great Barrington. This was 8 miles from 
Buffalow. 

Thursday 10. Progressed on. There is no house off 
from this road all the way from Buffalo to Batavia. I 
now made it an object to call at every house. It is a road 
of 45 [miles], I traveled 59 miles and visited 18 families. 
I came to Mr. Gans who married Dr. Brunson's daughter. 
Here is a thicker settlement for about 4 miles than any 
place excepting about Major Ransom's about 15 miles from 
this ; where I should have had a meeting in the evening, 
but Elder Irish had appointed at the same time. Mr. 
Wheeler, a brother of Dr. Wheeler of Salisbury lives here, 
he said he had a son who had of late commenced preacher, 
whom he looked for soon to visit him ; he is a professor and 
his wife and son and daughter and had buried a daughter 
who was a professor about 8 weeks before this. Lodged 
at Mr. Goss's. 

Friday 11, preached in the afternoon to about 40 people 
at M r. Gans. I visited all the families in this settlement 
to the number of 9, chiefly young and not one professor 
among them, and only Mr. Goss and his wife who entertain 
a hope — They had never any preaching before. 

Saturday 12. Rode to Batavia 6 miles, visited 4 fam- 
ilies in the way. Since I left Batavia until my return is 
13 days. I have travelled 14S miles, was three days in- 
terrupted traveling, .preached 5 times. 

Lord's Day 13. A Methodist minister being here he 
preached in the morning, and I in the afternoon. [Loose 
note laid in the journal:] A minister I saw at Batavia by 
the name of Harshey, a German from Merland [ ?Mary- 
land.] His profession was Meninonest [Mennonist]. They 



TO BUFFALO IN 1805. 229 

do not baptise infants, nor require a profession of a change 
of heart in the subject. Those who have been baptised in 
infancy they do not require to be again baptised, to be ad- 
mitted to their communion ; but admit of it by their request. 
They administer baptism by pouring water, but do not deny 
plunging to such as desire it, and then it is done with the 
face downward. 

Monday 14. I rode up the creek south from Batavia 
to No. 10 of the Second Range, 12 miles in a new muddy 
road, half the first part of the way without a house, was 
accompanied to Mr. Mackracken to No. 9. Visited 7 fam- 
ilies and came to Mr. Hodge's, whose daughter's funeral 
I had attended. 

Tuesday 15. Preached in the afternoon to about 30 peo- 
ple; rode back 3 miles and preached at a Mr. Adams's in 
the evening. About 20 persons attended soberly ; I had a 
conference with them after sermon. 

Wednesday 16. Came back to Batavia, visited 4 fam- 
ilies on the way, and preached in the evening at the Court 
House. 

Thursday 17. Called on a few families, 5 in the morn- 
ing and bid them farewell, and left the place and rode to 
Ganson's Settlement to meet my appointment there in the 
afternoon. The wind blew amazing hard, the trees fell 
in the woods, limbs from girdled timber were thick in the 
air at times, and green and dry trees fell across the road in 
great plenty. I never felt myself in greater danger on the 
road in my life at the distance of 12 miles, 5 of it without 
a house, but I received no harm. Very few people came to 
the meetings, they had all quitted labor in the afternoon, as 
they feared to be in their lots, and their children feared to 
be left alone in their houses. 

Friday 18. I went about two miles to see an old fort 
in the woods by the side of a road and the falls on Allins 
River about 100 rods from the fort. This river in low 
water will carry a grist mill, day and night; but for a mile 
above the falls, which are J^ feet, it now wholly disappears 
until two miles below when there is a greater quantity of 
water than above. In times of high water it runs a great 



230 VISIT OF REV. IOSEPH AVERY, 1805. 

depth over the falls. Then rode 61-2 miles to meet my 
appointment at the deep springs, called Calidonia. Met with 
the elders of the church and members in their way of 
preparation in the Scotch way for communion. Many of 
the members could not speak and some could not under- 
stand English. 

[The remaining pages of the MS. are a record of the 
preachings and visitations as Mr. Avery made his way 
eastward from Caledonia, which settlement he left Oct. 
21st, visiting East Bloomfield, Phelps, Canandaigua, Man- 
lius, Pompey, Verona, Rome, Vernon, Otsego, Bowman's 
Creek, Old Schoharie and Bern, at which point, Nov. 18th, 
the journal ends.] 



VIII. 

VISIT TO BUFFALO, IN 1806, OF 

THE REV. ROSWELL BURROWS. 



EXTRACT FROM HIS REPORT TO THE GROTON ( CT. ) 
UNION CONFERENCE, JANUARY 2, 1807.* 



I now address you on the subject of my mission to the 
north-west frontiers agreeably to your letter of instructions 
and appointments to me for that purpose, dated at Newport, 
September ioth, 1806, in behalf of the Groton Union Con- 
ference. I am sorry that I have not just ground to give you 
a more favorable account of my labors than what I have. 
I am in some measure sensible that returns of this nature 
too often are painted in too strong colors to bear an exam- 
ination, but I wish not to set forth anything in a different 
point of view than what it may absolutely appear to those 
that follow after me. 

I left my family on the 15th of September last, and pro- 
ceeded without making any stop to preach until 1 had ridden 
two hundred and twenty-seven miles to Fairfield in Herki- 
mer County, excepting I preached twice on Lord's Day at 
Clifton Park where Elder Peck usually preaches, who was 
then absent. 

I got to Fairfield the 23rd. at which place I tarried until 

*From a MS. copy deposited with the Buffalo Historical Society by 
Lorenzo K. Haddock, Nov. 13, i860. "Elder Burrows," Mr. Haddock wrote, 
"was the grandfather of Roswell L. Burrows now of this city." 



232 VISIT OF REV. ROSWELL BURROWS 

the 29th and attended four meetings in this and the adjoin- 
ing towns. Here are in these parts three vacant Baptist 
churches made up of five or six different towns ; and a 
large number of towns in which there are a number of scat- 
tering brethren ; and have no stated preaching in them. I 
was earnestly requested to improve the term of my mission 
in these parts. I found a solemn attention and humbly hope 
some good impressions were made. 

Monday the 29th I rode thirty miles to Paris, where I 
preached on Tuesday, the 30th. From thence I rode 108 
miles to Scipio and spent the next Lord's Day with the third 
church in that town and had a good season. I here learned 
that Elder Irish by an appointment from the Boston Mis- 
sionary Society and Elder Covel* from the Shaftsbury As- 
sociation had left those parts about a fortnight before on a 
mission to Upper Canada. Being desirous to overtake 
them, on Monday the 6th of October, I proceeded on with- 
out stopping to preach, until I rode one hundred and six 
miles to Batavia, near Lake Erie. But considering from 
the time they passed into Upper Canada, it was improbable 
I should overtake them until they had got to the end of 
their tour ; and that it was not advisable to follow in their 
track, as there opens a large field for labors in these parts, 
I resolved to take a different route from what any mission- 
ary had done before me. 

Accordingly I turned off from the main road south of 
Batavia about fourteen miles, where I found a large settle- 
ment, and learned there had never been any Baptist preach- 
ing there; and that they were nearly without any form of 
worship, excepting a few, who sometimes met for prayer 
and singing. I tarried here nearly a week and attended a 
number of meetings, and visited many families, praying 
with and exhorting them. I found there were scattered in 
this wilderness about sixteen Baptist professors, as sheep 
without a shepherd, some of whom seemed to have their 
minds stirred up to serve God, and made it manifest by 

*Rev. Lemuel Covell, whose narrative of a visit in 1S03 we have given, 
ante pp. 207-216. 



TO BUFFALO IN 1806. 233 

public confession; and all the assembly appeared solemn 
and attentive. 

I exhorted the brethren to unite in covenant, for watch- 
care over each other, and to maintain stated public worship, 
which they agreed to, and accordingly made appointment 
of a meeting for that purpose. From what appeared in that 
place there is a pleasing prospect, that, shortly, the Lord 
will plant a vine in that desolate land ; and oh ! may He 
cause that my labors may be blessed to its promotion ! Al- 
though there appeared an opening sufficient to occupy all 
the time I proposed to spend on my tour, yet, as there were 
many other settlements equally destitute, I concluded it to 
be most proper to divide my time amongst them. However, 
they would not be denied my calling and preaching with 
them on my return. 

Accordingly I made an appointment, and proceeded on, 
sixty-two miles to Buffalo, where I expected to find Elder 
Holmes, but was disappointed, as he resided with the Tus- 
carora Indians, about thirty miles north. I felt some pecu- 
liar trials from this second disappointment, being sensible of 
the need I had of advice and counsel from some of the fath- 
ers in the ministry, in this, to me, a new undertaking, and 
finding, by inquiry, there was not a person in that village, 
who ever made profession of any religion, and their morals 
corrupt in the extreme. I was almost persuaded to make 
no stop there. However, I concluded on giving them an 
offer of a meeting, and accordingly obtained a hall in a 
tavern, for that purpose, and gave notice through the vil- 
lage, but was informed, that I should most likely have dis- 
turbance. Whatever their motives were, I had a large as- 
sembly, and I here experienced sundry, singular circum- 
stances. 

My trials at first entering this place, my enlargement of 
mind in my improvements, the solemn attention of the as- 
sembly, and so large an assembly without a single professor 
(except myself), were all quite singular. I preached from 
Psalms, 49th chapter, and 8th verse — "For the redemption 
of the soul is precious. '' 



234 VISIT OF REV. ROSJVELL BURROWS 

The assembly tarried for singing- and exhortation. O ! 
may the Lord fasten conviction in some minds. 

From there, Thursday the 1 6th, I rode eighteen miles to 
Eighteen-Mile Creek settlement/ 1 ' where I preached to a 
solemn and affected assembly. It was the first time there 
ever was any preaching in this settlement, or any meeting 
for worship, although there is a circle of about ten miles, 
nearly sixty families, and six or eight professors, mostly 
Baptists. I advised, and obtained their consent to a cov- 
enant for worship, and watch-care, and some of the brethren 
seemed to have their minds stirred up, to promote the cause 
of God, and some who had not experienced religion, mani- 
fested some good degree of conviction. One respectable 
young man, in particular, requested my prayers for him, 
observing that he should not desist in his pursuit, until he 
obtained a sealing pardon for sin. 

I made an appointment to attend here again, a week from 
next Lord's day ; and proceeded on the next day, still up 
the south of Lake Erie, about fifty-five miles, to what is 
called "Cannidoway Creek Settlement. "f The day that I 
entered the settlement being Saturday 18th, and very rainy, 
as I rode along, I made an appointment for a meeting the 
next day and was agreeably disappointed to meet so large 
an assembly, on so wet and cold a day, in such a wilder- 
ness, many of whom came, some six, and some eight miles 
in ox wagons. My heart was affected with compassion for 
the multitude, lest they be sent away empty in this wilder- 
ness; and I trust a little was blessed for feeding them. I 
made sundry appointments at this meeting, at all of which 
we had comfortable seasons, and I had much satisfaction 
and comfort of mind, from the opportunity I here had with 
a number of Baptist friends, some few of whom appeared 
engaged to see the cause of God promoted, while some were 
in a luke warm state. In all, I find about twenty Baptist 
professors scattered in this wilderness, who have at times 
attended to some form of worship. I proposed to them a 

*Joel Harvey's Settlement, begun in 1804 near the mouth of the creek; 
now in the Town of Evans. 
fCanadaway, Chautauqua Co. 



TO BUFFALO IN 1806. 2o5 

covenant similar to what I had, with the brethren, I visited 
in other places, which was readily agreed to. 

I visited sundry families in this place, and I hope to 
some good effect, particularly, a brother that had been for 
a long time, in neglect of even the externals of religion, who 
was brought to a confession in public assembly, and to his 
family in particular, manifesting to all, his purpose to live 
religion, and maintain worship in his family. Another 
brother, who was the first one I called on in this place, just 
before I entered his house, was conversing with his wife 
upon the low state of his mind, and the desire he had to 
hear preaching, and observed he thought he must sell and 
move aw r ay, which seemed to be the feelings of her mind. 
Immediately, upon which, I entered the house. After learn- 
ing my business, the man affected great joy and gave thanks 
to God, that he should send his servant to visit them in 
their low state. 

In this wilderness land, the brethren generally manifest 
their thankfulness to God, and the Union Conference, that 
they are remembered in sending preaching among them, and 
desire still to be remembered in sending preaching supplies. 
Wednesday the 22d, being about to depart on my way, we 
attended prayers, and God was remarkably present, while 
numbers prayed in succession. My soul was greatly en- 
larged, with desires for a blessing on this settlement, and 
my feelings were sensibly affected from the tears of grief 
that were shed by them, at the thought that we, who had 
had sweet communion together should part, most likely 
never to meet again in time ; as well as from a thought, that 
there is no preacher of our order, within one hundred miles 
in any direction. 

Several followed me to an appointment, about eight 
miles, on my return. We had a comfortable season. 

Friday the 24th, I rode twenty miles to Cattaraugus, and 
visited the Indians there, with an idea of preaching to them, 
but was belated, and the Indians being hunting, it was not 
consistent. 

I, however, had conversation with some, who could un- 



236 VISIT OF REV. RO SWELL BURROWS 

derstand English, that were attentive, and one said, he 
thanked me, for care of his soul 

I returned from the village to a tavern, about fifteen 
miles, where, at about eight o'clock at night, was requested 
to attend a meeting with two families (who were all the 
settlers, within a number of miles) and a few travelers, I 
accordingly did, and the next day rode thirty-two miles, to 
my appointment at Eighteen-Mile Creek; and on Sunday 
the 26th I preached to a large assembly. In the first dis- 
course, my mind was heavy, and much tried. In the after- 
noon I had a good season, and the solemn attention of an 
affected assembly. 

Monday the 27th and Tuesday the 28th, I rode sixty 
miles to Elder Holmes at Tuscarora, an Indian settlement, 
with whom I tarried until the 30th, and with him attended 
two meetings with the Indians. I experienced much satis- 
faction from the interview, he being the only elder, I have 
had any such opportunity with since I came from home. 
His labors appear to have been abundantly blessed, with 
this nation, particularly for their civilization. They were 
before he came among them the most rude of the six na- 
tions, but now are the most cultivated, by abstaining from 
many of their heathenish traditions, and embracing many 
customs dictated by Christianity ; and I hope not without 
some spiritual blessings, as sundry amongst them appear to 
be experimentally acquainted with religion. 

I learned from Elder Holmes, that Elder Covil, whom I 
mentioned before, is no more in this life. He died the 19th 
of this month, in the town of Carlton, Sinclair County, Up- 
per Canada. The natives here are in mourning for him. 
He was highly esteemed by them. 

Brother Holmes sincerely requests that the Groton Union 
Conference would still consider the destitute situation of 
this western country, and send further supplies. For in- 
formation of its necessity, he would quote his letter to the 
Boston Baptist Missionary Society, published in one of 
those numbers, perhaps the sixth or seventh. 

Thursday the 30th, I rode 32 miles, to a tavern, on one 



TO BUFFALO IN 1806. 237 

side six, and on the other side, fourteen miles without any 
inhabitants. 

On my way I was lost, and night came on, and it was v 
extremely dark and snowy. I now expected I must be out 
this night, as I could not find the path, except by feeling, 
and being several miles from any clearing. In this strait- 
ened circumstance, I committed my cause to God, Who con- 
ducted me through, late in the evening. Sometimes my 
horse was to his belly in mud, sometimes tearing my clothes 
in the brush, and sometimes my way was shut up by trees / 
lying before me ; but the Lord delivered me out of them 
all, and I got into an agreeable shelter, which at any other 
time would have been intolerable. It was thronged by tu- 7 , x ul 
multuous guests. /* 

I soon introduced religious subjects, and treated with 
them on the important concerns of their souls, and soon had 
their attention. I asked the liberty and obtained it, and <.. 
had the serious attention of all, for prayer, and in the morn- 
ing the landlord requested me not to leave them, until I had 
prayed and taken breakfast. The family were solemn. The 
woman told me, she had had no opportunity to hear preach- 
ing for a number of years. 

Friday 31st, I rode thirty miles, to a settlement, south of 
Batavia, and was some unwell, having taken cold the night 
before. I, however, attended meeting with them, who were 
very attentive to the word, and I learn they have had one 
meeting upon the subject of my advise, and have another 
appointed, and all appear engaged to give their aid, for the 
promotion of the Redeemer's cause. They were unanimous 
in their thanks to God, and to our conference, for remem- 
bering, and sending them preaching, and sincerely request 
that they may still be remembered. In this place, I would 
observe, that here is an extent of country, to the westward 
of Genesee river, larger than the State of Connecticut, on 
which there are supposed to be from twelve to fifteen hun- 
dred families, among whom there resides not one preacher, 
neither, have they heretofore been privileged with any mis- 
sionary, excepting on the great roads, leading through to 



238 VISIT OF REV. ROSWELL BURROWS, 1806. 

Upper Canada, and to New Connecticut. There is a pleas- 
ing prospect, that shortly the Lord will plant a vine, at least. 
in the three settlements, I have particularly mentioned, and 
my heart feels enlarged, with desires that the Lord of the 
harvest, would send laborers into His vineyard. 

[The Journal continues with details of preaching, and of 
travel, by way of Aurora, Aurelius, Pompey, Whitestown, 
Germantown, Little Falls, etc., arriving home at Groton 
December 4, 1806, having been absent eleven weeks and 
four days, and traveled on horseback 1300 miles. In all 
that time, he writes: "I was not privileged with hearing 
any sermon, excepting the one delivered by Elder Holmes 
to the Tuscarora Indians."] 



IX. 

A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS 



HISTORICAL AND PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF 

JABEZ BACKUS HYDE, 

WHO CAME TO THE BUFFALO CREEK MISSION IN l8ll, 
WRITTEN IN l820.* 



No doubt the Apostle's summary of the human char- 
acter exhibited in the third chapter of Romans is a true rep- 
resentation of the national character of every nation and 
every individual that has not been renewed by divine grace. 
We then are to look for the different appearances in the 
character of nations and individuals in their different cul- 
ture, circumstances, restraints or actions which bring to 
view or conceal their character. 

Two brothers exposed to the same dangers, mutually de- 
pendent on each other, would in all probability live to- 
gether like two brothers. Increase them to a band, and the 
regulations necessary to prevent them from destroying each 
other and to give success to their enterprises, would lead 
them to practice many things that would be called virtuous, 
amiable and honorable. In Christian countries where the 
influence of the Gospel is supposed to be felt in a degree by 
all, many persons can be found of great urbanity, generosity 



*Now first published, from the original manuscript in possession of the 
Buffalo Historical Society. 



240 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

and honor who from the circumstances in which they are 
placed and the culture of their minds, suppose themselves 
under indispensable necessity to take the life of their nearest 
friend who should offer them the least insult, or lose their 
own life in the attempt. This persuasion comes from the 
conceit that such high-mettled spirits cannot be restrained, 
or any character be preserved among them, only from the 
dread of such consequences. A regulation similar we might 
expect necessary in hell. 

It will not be controverted I trust by any who believe 
the testimony of Scripture, that all men are equally de- 
praved, that the different appearances in the character of 
nations, or individuals, are either produced by their dif- 
ferent culture, the circumstances in which they may be 
placed, the restraints they may be under, or the particular 
cost and endowments of their minds directing that de- 
pravity in accomplishing the holy purposes of God, either of 
wrath or mercy. 

I have introduced these remarks because we are hearing 
from every quarter of the amiableness and innocence of the 
heathen, who were very well off without the light of the 
Gospel. But to return to a more particular consideration 
of the character of the Indians. Those who retain their 
original habits are a hardy athletic race, glorying in their 
strength, activity and hardihood, scorning to complain un- 
der sufferings. Their privations and abstinence would ap- 
pear almost incredible. Originally they had no views of 
personal property, further than the present subsistence. 
Their hospitality was only bounded by their whole posses- 
sions. To have refused a supper because it would take the 
family's breakfast, would have been at the price of their 
reputation. Their mode of subsistence and mutual depend- 
ence would ensure such a principle and establish the habit, 
which would become a law. All mutually dependent on the 
success of the chase, it became necessary to self-preserva- 
tion that hunting parties contiguous and those more distant 
that might occasionally visit each other should make a com- 
mon property of their good or ill success, if much was ob- 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 241 

tained they shared bountifully, if little they shared accord- 
ingly, if nothing to bear the privation with cheerfulness was 
the only merit. But they were Nimrods, mighty hunters 
before the Lord. No doubt hunting wild beasts remarkably 
trains men for martial enterprises. The wars among the 
different tribes were bloody and exterminating, peace was 
rarely settled before one of the parties was reduced beyond 
the probability of ever being able to avenge the blood that 
had been spilt. This was a reduction of life, not of re- 
sources. 

As all their education was oral or experimental, which 
would inspire confidence in the aged, and as the chiefs had 
the preeminence in nothing but* a reputation for superior 
wisdom and experience, and the privilege of directing and 
being the first in hazardous enterprises, their influence was 
great though their authority was only advisory. A happy 
relict of this deference and respect for the aged remains 
with the Senecas. Trained up from infancy to self-denial 
Indians generally have a command of their passions and 
appetites. The intercourse between the sexes, if not indis- 
criminate, was but a little remove from it ; not I appre- 
hend from the violence of their passions but the looseness 
of their principles. 

Indians are generally friendly and affable in their inter- 
course with each other. Their family government is gen- 
erally mild and quiet. For one to speak at a time is taught 
from infancy. A child in making a request to his father or 
other relative addresses him by his title of relationship, as 
"My father," "My mother," adding not another word, let 
the case be ever so urgent, until he has an answer, "Here I 
am," or "Speak on." Indians generally address each other 
by some title of relationship, the younger address the elder 
as "My father," "My grandfather," "My older brother," 
"My uncle." The aged address the younger by some title 
of affection, as "My child," My cousin," "My nephew," 
making a full pause, waiting for notice that they are heard 
before they proceed to open the subject. Indians have a 
high opinion of deliberation. A hasty opinion on subjects 



242 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

of apparently small moment, they consider a mark of a 
weak, flighty mind. This custom of deliberation and reflec- 
tion has doubtless greatly invigorated their minds and given 
them a solidity of judgment for which they are so justly 
admired. 

The Religion of Indians. 

Their manner of subsistence has doubtless done much to 
teach them their dependence on the providence of God. 
They acknowledge the preservation of their lives and their 
success in any enterprise to his kind interposition. It is an 
ordinary salutation: ''Through the mercy or help of God 
I am alive and in health." "I thank God our preserver I 
see you alive and in health." They always open their coun- 
cils with returning thanks to God, mentioning the particu- 
lar blessings that attend them. They also close their coun- 
cils in the same manner. When they have been successful 
in hunting they generally make a feast, professedly before 
the Lord, acknowledging God as the giver, and returning 
thanks for his benefits. The same has generally been the 
case, until of late, when they kill a domestic animal ; they 
make a feast offering as they call it, and devour the animal. 
As far as I have been acquainted no family until within 
this few years has salted any provision for their use. 

As far as I have been able to discover, these Indians are 
not idolators. They pay no worship to the Great Spirit 
through any similitude. They speak of God as existing 
or made known in four persons or sounds ; whether they 
have reference to the name Nau-wen-ne-u, or his creating 
or governing the four elements, or something else I could 
never satisfy myself. They address these four existences, 
persons or sounds, without any name, as ''the Great incom- 
prehensible God," "the Creator and Governor of all things." 

In the ceremonies of Indian worship is certainly to be 
seen at this day a shadow of the Mosaic ritual. They have 
annually the feast of first fruits, the feast of ingathering, 
the feast of atonement or yearly sacrifice, a feast in the 
Spring in which they present the different seeds they pur- 
pose to plant. They have numerous peace offerings, in 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 243 

which individuals provide as they choose, and invite whom 
they please, and professedly eat before the Lord. They 
build altars of stone before a tent, covered with blankets, 
and burn Indian tobacco within the tent with fire taken from 
oft" the altar. 

The first altar I discovered was about five years since.* 
I saw a fire in the evening in the woods a little way from my 
house. One of my neighbors informed me that the occa- 
sion of the fire was, an Indian performing religious rites 
for a neighbor that lay dangerously sick. In the morning 
I visited the spot, found the frame of a tent much in the 
shape of a sugar loaf ; before the tent were stones laid in 
the form of an hearth ; on it by appearance there had been 
considerable fire. 1 counted the stone but could not ascer- 
tain exactly how many there might have been, as some of 
them had been broken by the fire ; there must have been ten, 
there might have been more. Within the tent there had 
been a small fire, which burnt the grass a little. 

About two months after, the sick man continuing to grow 
worse, his father came to my house with a basket of stone 
on his back. I understood [from] him he was going to fit 
up the altar and try if he could not procure a blessing for 
his son. He thought the person that officiated before had 
not managed right. He repaired to the same place, cleared 
the ground, put his stones in order and raised up the frame 
of another tent. A little after dark he called at my house 
to get fire to conduct his ceremonies. I felt a strong desire 
to see the performance, but as no child or person went near 
him, I feared if I went I should be considered an intruder, 
and the ill success might be attributed to me. But it hap- 
pened to be a very windy night ; by taking advantage of 
the gusts of wind I could walk and not be heard. I got with- 
in a few yards of the fire, behind a log that he could not 
see me. I saw the old man standing by a large fire before 
the tent, every few minutes taking something from the fire 
and putting [it] within the tent. The tent was covered 
with blankets ; the last blanket was a curtain which he drew 



*In or about the year 1815. 



244 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

back when he put anything in, and immediately closed it. 
I could not see anything on the lire. I have understood 
that they burn nothing on the fire before the tent, but the 
whole object is to kindle the sweet odor within from the 
fire without. I have since frequently seen the ruins of these 
tents and altars. 

They observe eight days of uncleanness after a person 
has died in their house and dress in their worst attire dur- 
ing these days. They are not allowed to go into any assem- 
blage of people for religious worship. The ninth day they 
make a feast. The appointed mourners who had met twice 
a day during the eight days to make lamentations, cease, 
and all are considered clean. These things I have repeated- 
ly seen, and from good authority I have often heard that the 
same rites are observed in regard to their women as are en- 
joined by the Levitical law, with a little variation as to the 
number of days. It belongs to the next akin to avenge the 
blood of his murdered relation. The Indian festivals are 
generally conducted with singing and dancing; sometimes 
only singing. I suspect their singing is in an unknown 
tongue to themselves. I could never find one that could 
give any interpretation. 

My purpose is only to state facts without at all discussing 
the subject as to the origin of Indian rites of worship. 

Notwithstanding all the knowledge Indians have of God 
and their readiness to acknowledge him in all their bless- 
ings, they are under a miserable bondage from their belief 
in the power of evil spirits over their health, life and des- 
tiny. They suppose these evil spirits act through the agency 
of men whom they can empower to travel in mid-air over 
mountains, rivers, lakes, an amazing distance in one night, 
and inject a poisoned hair or feather into any victim they 
may select, which will end in death unless it can be counter- 
acted or expelled by their conjurors. These conjurors pre- 
tend to be acquainted with the secret workings of those evil 
spirits, and the persons who are employed by them, which 
has occasioned the death of many as witches, though the 
conjurors dare not directly expose the persons that are thus 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 245 

employed, if they have friends and influence, lest as they say 
they shall feel the weight of their malice on themselves. In- 
dians generally attribute sickness, death or any misfortune 
to the agency of these evil spirits, against whom they have 
no defense but the art of their conjurors. To question their 
skill or dispute the power and agency of the evil spirits 
would be thought the height of presumption, at the hazard 
of life. 

As far as i have been able to discover, Indians have con- 
sidered it wrong to pray unto God, or ask any favor of 
him. They say it implies dissatisfaction with our condition 
and irreverent attempt to influence the Divine Being. To 
give thanks to God for his benefits and submit with quiet- 
ness to the allotment of his providences is our duty. These 
sentiments, which I believe are very general, if not uni- 
versal, shut them out from all application to God except the 
influence they may suppose their religious rites have in 
moving the Divine Being to be propitious to them. 

Indians, as has been observed, bear suffering with great 
fortitude, but at the end of this fortitude is desperation. 
Suicides are frequent among the Senecas. I apprehend this 
despondency is the principal cause of their intemperance. 
Most of the children and youth have an aversion to spir- 
ituous liquor, and rarely taste it until some trouble overtakes 
them. Their circumstances are peculiarly calculated to de- 
press their spirits, especially these contiguous to white set- 
tlements. Their ancient manner of subsistence is broken 
up, and when they appear willing and desirous to turn their 
attention to agriculture, their ignorance, the inveteracy of 
their old habits, the disadvantages under which they labor, 
soon discourage them ; though they struggle hard little is 
realized to their benefit, beside the continual dread they live 
in of losing their possessions. If they build they know not 
who will inhabit. If they make fields they know not who 
will cultivate them. They know the anxiety of their white 
neighbors to get possession of their lands. Thev know in 
all their transactions with white men, in war or negotiation, 
they have prevailed against them, and thev are filled with 



246 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

desponding fears that it will continue to be so. Their re- 
ligion affords them no relief. They know not the way to 
God nor how to cast their cares upon him. They are wan- 
dering in the wilderness in a solitary way, they have found 
no city to dwell in ; hungry and thirsty their souls fainting 
in them. They sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, 
being bound in affliction. Their hearts are brought down 
with labor. They have fallen down and there is no helper. 
Thanks be to God we have reason to hope they are begin- 
ning to cry unto the Lord in their troubles. He will deliver 
them out of their distresses, send his word and heal them, 
and they will soon join in the anthems of the redeemed. Oh 
that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and his 
wonderful works to the children of men. For this let us 
labor, for this let us pray. 

Success of the Gospel and Progress of Civilization 
Among the Six Nations. 

In w r riting on this article I confess my information is 
very scanty. I shall state things as I have heard them from 
Indians and others, except what has passed under my own 
observation, hoping some abler pen will correct my errors 
and give a faithful statement. 

The Mohawks.* I have understood from the Indians 
that the French sent a missionary among the tribe as early 
as when they were in quiet possession of Canada. The first 
missionary the Mohawks killed. Soon after his death the 
Indians were visited with a grievous sickness which carried 
off great numbers. They considered this extremity a judg- 
ment sent on them for their cruelty to the missionary. As 
an atonement for the offense and to avert the evil they were 
suffering they sent to the French an acknowledgment of 
their wrong, desiring they would send them another mis- 
sionary. The French complied with their request ; part of 
the tribe received and listened to his instruction. The mis- 



*Mr. Hyde is too vague in his allusions to the early French missions among 
the Mohawks and other tribes to make his account of value. When he write? 
of his own experiences and observation among the Senecas, he makes a wel- 
come contribution to knowledge. 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 247 

sionary persuaded them that, were in favor of religious in- 
struction to remove with him into Canada and settle at the 
St. Regis. This part of the tribe remain there to this day 
in communion with the Church of Rome, but what their at- 
tainments are in the divine life of religion, and their prog- 
ress in civilization, I am unable to say, only I never heard 
anything very favorable of either, but the contrary. The 
remainder of the Mohawks adhered to the British ; a rem- 
nant live on the Grand River in Upper Canada. They are 
professedly Episcopalian, and make great account of having 
their children baptised. They have a church and a clergy- 
man (who I have understood is paid by the Government) 
visits them several times in the year and administers the 
ordinances. I have understood the morals of the Mohawks 
are very loose, that they are much addicted to intemperance, 
riddling, dancing and low dissipation. Several of the Mo- 
hawks have been educated in England but none of them as 
I ever learnt have proved pious useful men. Schools have 
been attempted, but little proficiency has been made in edu- 
cation. 

Onondagas. The French sent a missionary to this tribe 
about the same time they sent the one to the Mohawks. The 
Onondagas killed him. The French sent out an armed 
force to avenge the blood. The Onondagas were apprised 
of their approach time enough to escape into the woods. 
The French burnt the towns, but before they reached Can- 
ada the Indians rallied, pursued and overtook them, and cut 
oft" almost the whole company. The Onondagas have ever 
since pertinaciously refused all Christian instruction. The 
Onondagas in the State of Xew York are in numbers some- 
where about 300. 

Oneidas. Whether any attempts had been made to in- 
struct this tribe before Mr. Kirkland came among them I 
have not learnt. It must be now about fifty years since he 
commenced his labors with this tribe. I have never seen 
any journal of his labors. Mr. Jenkings his successor in- 
formed me that when he first went among the Oneidas he 
found the state of religion verv low. It was considerable 



248 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

time before he could find sufficient evidence of Christian 
knowledge and piety to administer the ordinances. After 
he had labored with them a number of years they experi- 
enced something of a revival of religion, and numbers were 
added to the church. The Oneidas were formerly nearly 
equally divided into two parties, called the Christian and 
the pagan party. Mr. Williams, their present teacher, com- 
menced his labors with the pagan party. Soon after Mr. 
Williams commenced his labors Mr. Jenkings gave up his 
charge. 

The Oneidas as a people are professedly Christian. 
Their parties are now distinguished by the old and new 
Christian party. Great numbers have been confirmed by 
the Bishop and several have been received to the com- 
munion. Mr. Williams informed me that twenty of the old 
church have been suspended or excluded from communion. 
What the attainments of some of the Oneidas may be in 
knowledge and obedience to the Gospel, or what progress 
some of them have made in the civil arts I cannot say. We 
would hope there are some of them who are witnesses for 
God and adorn their profession. But it is generally re- 
ported that the Oneidas as a people are the most intemperate 
and vicious of any of the Six Nations. Mr. Williams in- 
formed me that he greatly feared if the Oneidas were not 
removed away from the white people, all attempts would 
prove fruitless in preventing their total degeneracy and an- 
nihilation. 

Tuscarora. The Gospel was introduced into this tribe 
more than twenty years ago by the New York Missionary 
Society. In its progress many difficulties have opposed 
themselves. The church at present consists of 16 members 
who in the judgment of charity are sound in the faith and 
orderly in their walk, but it is to be feared most of them 
are far below that attainment the Church experienced when 
''great grace was upon them all." 

Here I would remark that the Gospel has crone a beereinsr 
among the Indians. To be willing to receive it cut and 
dried, free of any charge or any exertion on their part ex- 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 249 

ccpt renouncing- their ancient rites and abstaining from im- 
moralities, I fear has been too much the standard of Indian 
attainments, without discovering the necessity of that be- 
nevolent principle which is exemplified in the Divine Saviour 
who though he was rich for our sakes became poor that 
through his poverty many might be made rich, and was also 
exemplified in the x\postles in foregoing every suffering 
and self-denying service to publish the Gospel to sinners 
and rescue souls from destruction and was insisted on and 
practiced by the primitive Christians in their liberal self- 
denying services for the promotion of the Gospel. The 
peculiar situation of the natives, the clamor of applause has 
no doubt had an effect on missionaries in making them too 
reserved in insisting on the great principles of Christianity. 
We ought to deal gently with the sick and lame in our ex- 
ertions to relieve them but the great end of our exertion, 
if there remains a possibility, is to restore them to sound- 
ness and health that they may not only be able to help them- 
selves but assist others. If it should be allowed that Divine 
life may possibly exist in a subject who appears at ease be- 
cause he trusts he is safe without any operative concern for 
the safety of others, it cannot flourish. The Indians must 
be urged out of this wretched subterfuge. They must be 
plainly told that he that loveth gifts will not be rich ; it is 
only the liberal soul that will be made fat ; that they are 
not their own but bought with a price. Without that ardent 
desire for the salvation of others which will prompt to de- 
vising liberal, self-denying service for others, they are 
wanting in evidence that they have the Spirit of him who 
redeemed us with his blood. 

But to return to the Tuscaroras. This tribe contains 
rising of 300 souls in this State. The pagan party of late 
have made violent struggles, and as their last resort they 
determined to break the tribe up by persuading such a num- 
ber to move into Canada that the remainder would not be 
oi importance for a missionary establishment. About 70 
have emigrated this Spring. It is to be hoped this will be 
the means of stirring un these that remain to value and im- 



250 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

prove their privileges, that their candlestick may not be re- 
moved out of its place. The New York Society has been 
at considerable labor and expense to maintain a school 
among the Tuscaroras, but their progress in education has 
been small. 

Cayugas. Of this tribe there are 450 residing in this 
State and at Sandusky in Ohio, and a considerable number 
of them reside in Canada. They have disposed of all their 
lands and are scattered among the other tribes. No at- 
tempts have been made as I ever heard to evangelize them 
as a tribe by themselves. Their language is very similar 
to the Senecas. 

Senecas. This tribe is the most numerous and wealthy 
of any of the Six Nations. There are more than 2000, be- 
side a number scattered to the westward. They possess 230 
square miles of excellent land, mostly in the State of New 
York. I do not know when the first attempt was made to 
introduce the Gospel among them. From Mr. Brainerd's 
journal it appears he visited one village of the Six Nations, 
but he had but little opportunity with them. Mr. Kirkland 
visited the Senecas and related something concerning them. 
Mr. Crane, missionary from the Society in Scotland for pro- 
pagating Christian knowledge, visited them in * but 

was rejected. The Friends, from their Society in Philadel- 
phia, commenced an establishment among the Senecas on 
the Alleghany river in 1798, another establishment at Cat- 
taraugus of later date. Their object was not to instruct 
them in the truths of the Gospel, but correct their habits 
and teach them agriculture and the useful arts. By the re- 
ports of their visiting committees it appears they succeeded 
in a measure in their attempts, and were a means of im- 
proving the condition of the Indians, correcting their habits 
and adding to their comfort in living. Of late years they 
have made some attempts at school, but their success has not 
been very flattering. The New York Missionary Society 

*Blank in the original. Mr. Hyde wrote "'Crane," but evidently referred 
to Rev. Mr. Cram, who had been rejected about 1802. The Rev. J. C. Crane, 
as we have seen (p. 126) came among the Tuscaroras in 1S09, and gave long 
and acceptable service. 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 251 

made several attempts to introduce the Gospel among the 
Senecas, but did not succeed until the establishment of the 
present mission in 1811. This mission consisted of a min- 
ister and schoolmates. The minister was rejected. Here 
I would give a brief account of my sojourning among the 
Senecas and the views I have in regard to civilizing and 
evangelizing Indians. I must say in much feebleness in- 
firmity and many temptations I have been with this people. 
To nothing but sovereign mercy and Divine patience ought 
it to be attributed that I have been preserved and upheld 
through the various vicissitudes, contending interests from 
within and without to which 1 have been subject. It has 
not been from any stability of character, prudence or good- 
ness of my own, but to the good pleasure of him who 
worked all things according to the council of his own will 
be all praise for any favor I may have had in the sight of 
the natives, any influence I may have had with them ; and 
if in any measure this influence may have been improved 
for their good. When I look back on the path the Lord 
hath led me to humble me, prove me and show me what is 
in my heart, it is marked with Divine goodness, it is marked 
with Divine patience. The faith, patience and liberality of 
the Society in bearing so long and supporting such an in- 
strument under such discouraging circumstances must be 
attributed to the secret influence of him in whose hand are 
all hearts and who turneth them whithersoever he will. 

I engaged in the work with no adequate views of its 
arduous and responsible trust, and illy qualified to perform 
its duties and encounter its difficulties. My station was a 
subordinate one, a school-teacher under the direction and 
superintendence of the missionary. I did not engage in the 
work with that feeling sense of my special need of divine 
direction and support as I ought. I viewed it as an ordinary 
concern. My mind had .not been exercised with any spe- 
cial solicitude for Indians. I have been thus particular in 
stating what I was not, to warn those that may hereafter 
engage in the work what they ought to be if they would not 
learn it by the hardest [way] and hinder the work they un- 
dertake to promote. 



252 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

The missionary as has been said was rejected. Instead 
of deriving any assistance from him the prejudices that were 
excited became a serious embarrassment to my introduc- 
tion. However, after waiting seven months I was able to 
open a school. The prospect at first was flattering. A good- 
ly number of children attended and their proficiency was as 
good as could have been expected. The war took place the 
next Summer, which threw everything into confusion on 
the frontier. Several times the school was interrupted. A 
few children attended but were very irregular. After the 
war the school revived for a short time, but soon dwindled. 
None of the first scholars persevered. During the six years 
that I professed to act as a school teacher I had several 
sets of new scholars and not one of them made proficiency 
that promised to be of any use to them. My heart was 
deeply affected at the prospect which forbid the hope that 
anything would ever be effected in this way. Whether the 
situation of the natives so much affected me as the scoffs 
of those that ridiculed all attempts for their improvement, 
I know not. "We told you so," they would say. "It is 
worse than in vain to attempt to instruct Indians. It is not 
only labor and property thrown away, but if anything is 
effected it is only making them worse. Not one instance 
can be found from the first settlement of the country that 
education has proved a blessing to an Indian, but an injury." 
Such like language greatly distressed me, but I believe it 
was salutary and needful, a powerful means of stirring up 
my sinking spirits. It appeared to me the honor of God 
was concerned, the power of his grace disputed. Not only 
my feeble efforts were derided, but all attempts that had 
been or might be made. I am pursuaded no one means so 
powerfully operated in buoying up my sinking mind ami 
encouraged me to hope that God would arise and plead his 
own cause, as the scoffs oi the enemy. I remember one in- 
stance among many. I was from home in feeble health and 
great depression of spirits. A person of considerable note 
enquired of me the prospect among the Indians. I answered. 
"Discouraging." He went on with the common rant, ex- 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 253 

posing the folly of attempting' to civilize and Christianize 
Indians. I replied, notwithstanding the discouraging ap- 
pearances and the ill success of former attempts, we knew 
not what good Divine Providence might have in store for 
Indians. He retorted, "Do you think, Mr. Hyde, that Di- 
vine Providence will concern itself with a little handful of 
Indians?" It was to me like a shock of electricity. I for- 
got my feebleness and hastened home with full assurance 
or full determination that the enemy would not always 
triumph. 

In this manner the Lord was pleased to stir me up, spur 
me on and encourage me to hope. My attachment to the 
Indians became very strong. The more I became ac- 
quainted with them the more I saw their misery, and the 
more deeply I was impressed that nothing but the Grace of 
God which brought salvation could reach their case and 
effect their deliverance. 

The plan to civilize and then Christianize Indians ap- 
peared to me as a project of man's devising, inverting the 
Saviour's order, and could issue in nothing but in humiliat- 
ing demonstrations "that the foolishness of God is wiser 
than man and the weakness of God is stronger than man." 
Without the motives of the Gospel we can get no hold on 
Indians. Those three powerful engines that move the civil- 
ized world, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and 
the pride of life," have never been brought to operate with 
any success on Indians. Lay aside the motives of the Gos- 
pel and these are all we have to work with. From the first 
settlement of this country to this day I doubt whether all 
the glare, indulgence and comforts of civilized life that has 
been exhibited before Indians and all the pains that have 
been taken to persuade them has impressed one to come 
out from his people, adopt civilized habits and become a 
member of civilized society. Doubtless the Indians are as 
devout worshipers of the world-trinity as civilized society, 
but they prefer their easy, indolent way to our laborious, 
ceremonious, litigations rites. They will acknowledge they 
fare rougher, but they have less labor, anxiety and conten- 



254 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

tion, which taken into the account leaves a balance in their 
favor. 

If it should be said that the success of the Friends are 
stubborn facts in opposition to the foregoing reasoning, 
far be it from me to detract from the merits of their labors. 
The Friends have done well, and deserve the thanks of all 
who wish well for our race for their persevering, self-deny- 
ing labors for the amelioration of the condition of the 
natives. The consolation of seeing that their labors were 
not in vain, the misery they have prevented and the com- 
forts they have been instrumental in promoting, must ever 
be pleasant to their recollection and grateful to all who par- 
ticipate in the sympathies of men. But I still doubt whether 
without the life-giving power of Divine truth, without a 
turning to God through the Mediator, the God-man Christ 
Jesus, receiving him as their King and trusting in him as 
their only hope — I doubt whether their outward improve- 
ments would ever arrive to that stability that would stand 
a day without holding it up, or 'that stability that would 
prevent them from wasting away and becoming extinct. 
Many things may look encouraging and promise fair which 
come to nothing. "All flesh is grass and all its glory as the 
flower of the field, but the Word of the Lord endureth for- 
ever ;" but could the pressure of external circumstances and 
the kind attention of Friends raise the Indians to the high- 
est state of industry and prudent management of their 
worldly concerns while they remained in the gall of bitter- 
ness, in the bond of iniquity, ignorant of God and the worth 
of their souls, what have we done for them ! What have 
we done for immortals hastening unprepared to the Judg- 
ment! We may have added a few comforts to their uncer- 
tain life, but the Word of God is far from making these 
fleeting comforts the great end of our existence ; so far 
from it, it says, "Labor not for the meat that perisheth, but 
for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life." The 
Word of God requires that we use everything in this world 
in subserviency to the great end of our existence, an eternal 
state. If the Word of God requires this of us, why should 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 255 

those that knew these things begin any lower with any of 
our fellow immortals, bound to the same eternal state? 
Obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, a desire to promote the 
best good of our fellow men, and the only warrant of being 
essentially useful, seems to require that we begin here with 
the most ignorant, fallen and hopeless of our race. The 
truth is, man has forsaken God his Maker, the fountain of 
all true wisdom and comfort, continuing to wander from 
God ; whether sage or savage he is lost and miserable. The 
insulted majesty of Heaven seems to require that the first 
step of man's return to prosperity and peace should be his 
return to God. 

Whatever the Nimrods may have done in consolidating 
tribes with blood and building up empires with violence, 
whatever despotism and necessity may have done in en- 
forcing law and discipline for the preservation of the State ; 
whatever pride, luxury and royal patronage may have done 
in introducing and promoting the arts, the refinements and 
the elegancies of life, is not to the point. These are weapons 
the Christian cannot use, neither do I possess sufficient in- 
formation to say that those nations without the light of the 
gospel that have attained to great celebrity in the elegant 
and useful arts have in every case been consolidated by force 
and cemented with blood. Perhaps the colony of Xod 
may be an exception ; but to Christians I would say, that 
the commission of the Saviour, the conduct of the Apostles, 
appear to me imperative ; that we begin instruction no lower 
with the most ignorant and barbarous than Jesus Christ 
and him crucified, and I apprehend on no subject can we 
reason so intelligibly and demonstrably as on the sinful and 
miserable condition of man. The just anger of God that is 
out against him, the cause of all his woes, his hopeless and 
helpless state, and his need of an Almighty helper, if his 
heart is open to receive what his conscience must testify is 
true, he is prepared to welcome the glad news, the riches of 
a Saviour's love. Bring men back to God and let them 
yield themselves his servants, and they are prepared to per- 
form the duties of their several stations just in proportion 



256 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENEGAS, 

to their devotcdncss and humility. Brainerd and Elliot be- 
gan with Jesus Christ and him crucified, and the Lord pros- 
pered them. The single word "repent," accompanied with 
the influence of the Holy Spirit I apprehend would do more 
in civilizing Indians than a century spent in moral lectures 
on the benefits of civilized habits. These views led me to 
total despair of doing anything for the benefit of the In- 
dians while they pertinaciously refused the Gospel. 

I will now resume the subject of the progress of the 
Gospel and civilization among the Senecas within my own 
observation. 

I have stated that I was led to despair of doing anything 
for them while they refused to listen to the Gospel, but this 
conviction was a progressive work on my mind. The In- 
dians did not profess to be openly opposed to the Gospel, 
but it was something they could not attend to, nor attain 
to, at present. "Educate our children/' say they, "and they 
will probably embrace your religion, and future generations 
of Indians will doubtless become Christian." But this was 
only an evasion. The Summer of 1817 Mr. Buttrick lived 
with me. I indulged the hope that his meek and affection- 
ate manner would interest the Indians in his favor and in- 
fluence them to listen to his instruction; but they stood aloof 
from him, and when I pressed them to attend to his in- 
structions, they answered they would not have a minister 
stay among them. This determined me no longer to dally 
with them. Jesus hath said, "He that refuseth you refuseth 
me." It appeared to me unwarrantable to encourage the In- 
dians that any good could come to them by any instruction. 
while they obstinately refused the instruction that God had 
sent. Accordingly I informed them of my purpose of re- 
linquishing the school, desiring an opportunity to tell them 
all my mind on the subject. I waited four months before a 
suitable opportunity presented. The opportunity was a good 
one. Twenty-one chiefs from the different villages met in 
council to devise means for their preservation. They sent 
for me. I spoke two whole days in succession. I en- 
deavored to exhibit before them their situation, their pros- 



NARRATIVE OF JADEZ B. HYDE. 257 

pccts, and to demonstrate that certain inevitable ruin awaited 
them in the present and future world unless they sought 
unto God through the mediation of his Son, received and 
obeyed the Gospel. Their help alone was in God. This 
help from God must come to them through the mediation 
of his Son. To refuse the Son was to refuse all help from 
God. Refusing help from God in his appointed way, no 
other being in the universe could help them. They would 
be broken with a rod of iron and dashed to pieces like a 
potter's vessel. 

I trust the Lord helped me to speak in some measure 
as I ought, and he opened their understanding to perceive 
the truth. There appeared evidently a noise and a shaking 
among the dry bones. In their answer they expressed their 
conviction of the truth and importance of the gospel, and 
their willingness to listen to it. For two months there ap- 
peared evidently a great alteration for the better. They 
did many things and abstained from many things. But a 
cloud appeared gathering over them. Before the Spring 
council I never witnessed so dark a season. It appeared as 
though the abyss had been opened upon us. But the Spring 
council opened with a dawning of light. A general con- 
viction pervaded the Indians almost universally that they 
were in a bad case. As things went on inevitable ruin 
awaited them. They as universally came to this conclu- 
sion, that their ways did not please God, or it would not be 
so with them. This became the great question: "How 
shall we please God, and secure his friendship?" 

Before the council broke up in this place they agreed to 
appoint another at Tonawanta to meet in one month to dis- 
cuss the subject of religion. According-, they met ; a full 
representation from all the villages and from Canada. They 
sat twelve days. From all I could learn of this council it 
appeared to be an honest inquiry after truth, the way to 
please God and secure his favor ; though very few I appre- 
hend expected to find the truth anywhere else than in their 
old religion. The wisdom of the tribes was collected to 
investigate and show what the doctrines and duties were 



258 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

and the safety of their religion. I cannot state all that was 
discussed at this council but I have understood their ancient 
religion was thoroughly investigated. The council came to 
this conclusion: To please God and secure his favor they 
must put away the evil of their doings ; and it was en- 
joined on the representatives of the different villages to 
call the people of their respective villages together, and each 
individual for himself to enter into an engagement to put 
away his particular sins. This was generally observed, if 
not universally. This engagement, or oath, was a voluntary 
act, each binding himself by such penalties as he chose to 
assume. Some pledged all their hopes of future happiness 
on their forfeiture or failure of fulfilling this engagement. 
How general these solemn pledges were I cannot say, but 
I suspect very general. 

Another council was appointed at Tonawanta to report 
their proceedings and success. This council I think was 
about two months from the first. About the meeting of the 
second council a dissatisfaction began to manifest itself 
with their old religion. This goodness proved like a morn- 
ing dew. Several who had pledged their eternal all fell ; 
by their own mouths they were condemned and shut up in 
despair. The first dissatisfaction I heard expressed to their 
religion was, that it did not extend far enough ; it was good 
as far as it went, but it did not reach to their deliverance. 
At this time I was translating the third chapter of John. 
As it was my first attempt I proceeded very cautiously. 
Every opportunity an Indian of intelligence called on me 
I read my translation to ascertain if it was correct. The 
doctrine of the new birth was a new and strange subject 
to them and became matter of considerable conversation. 
Though their notions were confused yet some of them learnt 
that to be approved of God we needed a higher principle 
than we naturally possessed, but this principle they seemed 
to have no other conception of than an attainment of their 
own through their diligence and watchfulness. But I ap- 
prehend this opportunity was of more use to them than I 
had any conception of at the time. They learnt the gospel 



NARRATIVE OF JADEZ B. HYDE. 259 

taught something beyond their religion, viz., the necessity 
of a Divine principle in the heart to do works acceptable 
to God, and they felt the necessity of this Divine principle. 
Their religion taught a good system of morality, but they 
found that haranguing men on the beauty and reasonable- 
ness of virtue and God's approbation of it, and on the 
odiousness, unreasonable and destructive nature of sin, and 
God's righteous displeasure against sin, was without effect ; 
and even men's assenting to what was good, and their sol- 
emn engagements to follow after the good, to put away and 
abstain from the evil, was without effect. He that was 
filthy was filthy still. Therefore they said (the first ad- 
vocates for the Gospel), our religion is good as far as it 
goes, but it does not go far enough to afford us help. This 
was the first weapon the advocates of the Gospel used with 
success : the necessity of a Divine principle to influence 
the heart that men might do and persevere in works ac- 
ceptable to God. Oh that many Christian Doctors would 
learn of these poor ignorant Indians, that their works might 
be found approved of God ! With this argument they over- 
whelmed their opposers ; they could not gainsay it. The 
necessity was obvious, and it was generally assented that 
the Gospel went beyond their religion in an essential and 
necessary article. 

But the question of expediency was then started up. 
"Granting the Gospel is more excellent, and goes beyond 
our religion, yet many of our people cannot see and feel it 
is so. It would be highly improper and tend to great con- 
fusion to be divided, part holding to old religion and part 
to gospel." It was argued that those in favor of Gospel 
ought patiently to wait until all were willing to receive it. 
[In] the Spring and Summer of 1818 the minds of the In- 
dians were continually agitated with the subject of religion. 
I should judge parties of them met more than two days in 
a week during the whole time to converse on the subject, 
but this was all carried on without me except the conver- 
sation I had with individuals on the third chapter of John, 
and I was wholly ignorant at the time that my conversa- 



260 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

tion had any bearing on their matters in debate. I knew 
their minds were agitated with religious subjects and I 
had a trembling anxiety for the issue, but as they never 
asked me to their council but once I saw nothing I could 
do but look on. 

I now come to the period when I commenced my labors 
regularly with them on the Sabbath. 

The 1 6th of August [1818] live young men of best fam- 
ilies among the Senecas came to the schoolhouse where I 
and family had gone that day to carry on a meeting among 
ourselves. They came in and informed us they had come 
to learn the will of God made known in his word. They 
were wearied out with being held off until all were agreed. 
They five had agreed to observe the Sabbath and listen to 
the instructions of the Word of God. For four weeks they 
stood alone, encountering all the ridicule the Opposition 
were pleased to bestow. The 15th of September four other 
young men of similar character joined us with similar pro- 
fessions. Our meetings now made considerable interest. 
The opposition assumed a more formidable appearance and 
contended earnestly against these innovations. But I trust 
to our young men was given a mouth of wisdom which none 
of their adversaries were able to gainsay. The gospel 
gained ground; every Sabbath more or less came in to see 
this new way. Several who at first came in as mere idlers 
attached themselves to us and we considered them joining 
our meetings. The wives of our young men were won over 
by their husbands, [and] as their diffidence gave way joined 
us. Three elderly women joined us, two of them were 
mothers of the young men, the other was a white woman, 
a captive taken when a child, and one old chief, a captive 
taken when a child, the father of two of the young men. 
A precious company, the first fruits of the Senecas; all 
have persevered to this day. 

For two months we sang and prayed in English. I spoke 
to them through an interpreter. In October some oi the 
Tuscaroras visited us and conducted the singing in Indian. 
on the Sabbath. One of our nine young men belonging at 
Tonawanta manifested a desire to learn to sing; we invited 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 261 

him to call on us as frequently as he could and we would 
instruct him. He called on us frequently, manifested a 
great desire to learn, and made some progress. At one time 
while he was attempting to sing some of the Indians came 
in, accosting him: "What! You think you can sing?" 
He answered. "God allows it ; if he pleases can help me ; 
I shall not be bashful." For two weeks he stood alone, 
with increasing anxiety. Then two or three others mani- 
fested a desire to sing. I informed them that in singing 
we were a great assistance to each other. If they desired 
to sing we would appoint a season for that purpose, when 
all desirous to learn could attend. We appointed Wednes- 
day evening. All our nine young men attended. We taught 
them until late in the evening, then left them in the school- 
house, but they were too engaged to sleep; they sung at in- 
tervals all night. * 

The singing excited a great interest. Our Wednesday 

* It was perhaps of this same young convert that Mr. Hyde wrote as fol- 
lows, Dec, 1819, to the Juvenile Charitable Society in Lenox, Mass.: 

"Tonnawanta, a Seneca village, thirty miles from Buffalo, had been the 
headquarters of opposition. A young man of this village was among the first 
nine who publicly embraced Christianity. During three months' instruction, 
which he received at Buffalo, he made progress, in religious knowledge, and in 
sacred music, of which Indians are extremely fond, and admirable performers. 
He then returned to Tonnawanta, carrying with him a hymn-book in his native 
language. These hymns he sang to his neighbors, and became the open ad- 
vocate of Christianity. Though opposed and ridiculed, he remained steadfast, 
and persevered. Success followed. In a few months eleven young men had 
renounced paganism, and determined to listen to the word of God, and to obey 
its precepts. These twelve met frequently for the purpose of singing hymns, 
?.nd for religious conversation. This alarmed the chiefs, who complained that 
these young men 'were filling Tonnawanta with their doctrine.' A council of 
the people was called, and the young men entreated and admonished to re- 
nounce their new religion. When they found entreaties and admonitions vain, 
they 'commanded them to desist from advocating Christianity, and singing 
Christian hymns.' The young men, one excepted, who drew back and left his 
companions, said firmly, 'We shall not obey you in this thing.' The chiefs 
then commanded them to 'leave the Reservation and go to Buffalo, where such 
things were allowed, and not remain to disturb their village with their new 
and wicked ways.' The young men refused to go, and to leave their possessions, 
saying, 'You can take our lives: but you need not expect us to renounce the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ.' The effects of this persecution, on the one hand, and 
of the firmness and patience in resisting and bearing it, on the other, have been 
ruch as might be expected; converts to civilization and Christianity have been 
multiplied." About this time twenty-four Senecas removed from Tonnawanta 
Itlie old Indian village of course being meant) to Buffalo. 



262 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

evening- meetings became crowded. In four weeks we were 
able to conduct our singing on the Sabbath in Indian, our 
school-house became too small to accommodate our singers. 
We appointed to sing in two other villages. Everything 
now appeared to be giving way before the Gospel. The old 
chiefs who had stood aloof professed an attachment to 
Christianity and attended our meetings. But a trial awaited 
us for which we wanted all our strength, and we were pro- 
vided in season, though it has tried us hard, yet I have no 
doubt has been overruled to the furtherance and stability 
of the gospel among us. Our situation required the inter- 
ference of the New York Missionary Society, who sent out 
two commissioners to investigate our circumstances and 
direct the affairs of the mission. The Senecas, Onondagas 
and Cayugas entered into covenant with the New York 
Missionary Society. Through these commissioners on the 
part of the Society they engaged to send them teachers free 
of expense as their ability would allow and the necessity 
of Indians require and their profiting should appear. The 
Indians on their part agreed to receive their teachers, listen 
to their instruction when agreeable to the Word of God, to 
advise and council with the Society, etc. While this busi- 
ness was transacting not one word of opposition was heard ; 
but one chief of any considerable note that did not sign 
the covenant and he was absent. But soon after the com- 
missioners left us the opposition showed itself. The cove- 
nant was made the ostensible ground. The pagans charged 
the Christian party with selling themselves the bond slaves 
of the ministers, who would eat up their land and consume 
them off the earth. They called a council at Tonawanta 
to consult on the subject. From this council they sent out 
runners to warn all the villages of the evil that had been 
clone by these innovators, desiring their vigorous coopera- 
tion to put away this mischief before it spread any further. 
All the villages received their messengers. 

The Christian party sent out runners to counteract this 
confederacy, but none of the villages received them, only 
warned them to prepare to give an account of themselves 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 263 

at the Spring council. These vigorous movements of the 
opposition, their determination and numbers, spread con- 
siderable consternation among our raw recruits. Two 
chiefs that had signed the covenant deserted us and none 
dared to join themselves. 

It may not be improper to give a few details of this 
council. The council did not meet until June. It came 
upon us with all the fury we had anticipated. The chief 
councilors stepped back or "off their seats," as they ex- 
pressed it, and allowed the warriors to open the council, 
enquire into and report the state of the nation. The war- 
riors reported that the council fire was in confusion ; some 
were pulling brands one way and some another. As things 
went on some would get burnt, and all were endangered. 
The cause was sought out and found to be the Christian 
party. They were then called upon to tell what they had 
done, and the reasons of their conduct. 

The council opened in due form on Thursday, June — . 
It was an awfully interesting day. The council occupied 
a large barn, the Christians the floor, the opposition a large 
bay, facing each other. The opposition to appearances were 
six to one of the Christians, as every individual of the dis- 
tant villages took sides with the opposition, to enquire into 
the conduct of the Christians. The first day was occupied 
by the Christian party in giving account of themselves. 
They produced the covenant, which had been such a bone 
of contention, and had it read. The next day was assigned 
for the pagans to make their reply. The council was re- 
moved to a council house in another village. The debates 
were warm and animated ; several speakers on both sides 
spoke this day. From my ignorance of their language I am 
unable to give ~ven an extract of what was said. I learned 
that [the] pagans labored to rouse the pride and resentment 
of their people by reminding them what they were before 
the white people came into their country. They were pros- 
perous and happy and God was with them. The beginning 
of their being diminished and brought low was their first 
acquaintance with white men. They had introduced many 



264 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

evils among them [to] which before they were strangers. 
It was in vain to look for any good from a people who were 
the source of all their evils. Besides, these Indians that had 
the most affinity with white men and received their teachers 
were the most fallen and miserable of the Indians. The 
speakers referred their people to the antiquity of their re- 
ligion, the care with which their fathers had handed it down 
to them, the dishonor they would cast on the memory of 
their fathers should they now cast all their instructions be- 
hind their backs, and it would be provoking to God, who 
had showed them so much favor before they became cor- 
rupted with the notions of white men. This I understood 
was the strain of the pagans. The celebrated Red Jacket 
exerted all his eloquence in their defence. 

The Christian party contended that all the wisdom and 
piety of their fathers had not saved their people from being 
spoiled and their country wrested from them. The calam- 
ities they now suffered came upon them under the manage- 
ment of their fathers, and the same course persisted in must 
end in their utter ruin. It was not true that all their 
calamities had come upon them through the agency of 
white men. They themselves had plunged into destructive 
wars with their own sort of people, to the wasting of their 
own lives and the lives of their brethren, thereby exciting 
and perpetuating their enmity. All this their fathers had 
done from no other motive than the gratification of their 
pride and thirst for blood. * Their fathers had prophesied 
of these days, that their descendants would be brought into 
great straits, and these that should be last would see great 
afflictions. By the course their fathers pursued it appeared 
they were determined to secure the accomplishment of their 
predictions. They had yielded up their country and cut off 
the possibility of a retreat. Whatever the former prosperity 

*Note in original MS.: The Scnccas have been celebrated for their military 
achievements. They conquered the Delawares, Wyandots, Shawnees, and some 
other tribes. They have had long and bloody wars with the Cherokees, Choc- 
taws, Chippeways and other Western tribes. Perhaps one of the most powerful 
restraints that deters them from emigrating to the West is the recollection of 
these wars and the consequent animosities which they expect would leave them 
but these two alternatives, vassalage or extermination. 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 265 

and happiness of their fathers had been, those days were 
past. Their advantages were gone, it was impossible to 
follow their steps and escape ruin. 

The foregoing is a summary of their political reasonings. 
Those better acquainted with the Gospel urged its au- 
thority. The designs of God to recover all nations from 
the darkness which covered them ; the certainty that this 
would be accomplished ; Jesus Christ was King of Nations ; 
those that did not submit to his authority, receive him as 
their teacher, Saviour and King, would be crushed beneath 
his power. 

The foregoing is rather a brief summary of the views 
and management of the subject in debate by the contend- 
ing parties, than an extract of the debates. No woman at- 
tended the council except the three elderly women I have 
before mentioned. One of them came in and took a seat 
behind Mr. Crane and myself on a wide platform with 
which their houses are furnished. The other two stood 
outside, looking through the cracks. The deep interest 
that was visible in their countenances was very encouraging. 

Saturday the council met in the same place. The de- 
bates were more promiscuous, personal and irritating. This 
day an indecorum took place I never before witnessed in 
an Indian council ; two speakers were up at the same time, 
but there was no contention ; the speaker up last made his 
apology and sat down. Our three elderly women attended 
and took seats behind Mr. Crane and myself. I mention 
these women because the anxiety manifested by them was 
so pleasant to us, and it may be found that the wrestling 
of their souls prevailed in behalf of their poor perishing 
people. On this day some zealous friends of the opposition 
handed Jacket a piece published in the Recorder taken from 
the Swigerfield Monitor entitled "Good News" in relation 
to these Indians. This was handed to Jacket to show him 
how basely he was misrepresented in the public prints, sup- 
posing a suspicion could be fixed on me as the author; but 
I was enabled to satisfy the council that I had no hand in 
the representation. 



266 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

Sunday my people met for public worship with some of 
the Allegany chiefs. My subject, 'Tor the love of Christ 
constraineth us." I trust the Lord helped me to exhibit 
in some measure the constraining motives that influenced 
the servants of Jesus to publish his Gospel to sinners in 
spite of all opposition, and the certain triumphs of the Gos- 
pel, being pushed forward by the unconquerable love of 
God and the welfare of immortal souls. Men might rather 
hope to extinguish the sun with buckets than put out the 
love of Jesus, shed abroad in the hearts of his servants, or 
prevent the final triumphs of the Gospel. 

In the afternoon most of the men retired to the council, 
which was assembled. I understood this day was more 
boisterous than the preceding ones. The opposition used 
threatening language. Some of the Christian party I un- 
derstood told the opposition they could take their lives but 
they trusted they should not renounce the Gospel. 

Monday the Commissioners of the United States met 
with the Indians. These commissioners were appointed by 
the Government to treat with the Indians concerning re- 
linquishing part of their lands and concentrating their whole 
population on one or two reservations. The subject of re- 
ligion was dropped during this conference, which lasted 
four days. The Indians all united in opposing the proposi- 
tion of the commissioners, and appointed Red Jacket their 
orator to deliver their sentiments, which he did with his 
wonted keenness, exceeding the bounds prescribed by the 
council. Jacket said they were not only determined not to 
part with any of their lands, but they were determined no 
white men should live on their land, missionaries, school- 
masters or Quakers. 

The Christian party felt themselves injured by the 
declaration of Jacket. They called on the commissioners 
and informed them that the declaration of Jacket was un- 
authorized, it was not the sentiments of the Indians gen- 
erally ; they hoped the commissioners would not hand 
Jacket's talk to their Father the President as the feelings 
and views of his red children. 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ E. HYDE. 267 

The Commissioners informed them it was then too late 
to make any alteration ; they should have protested in the 
time of the council. 

These concerns occupied the whole of the week. The 
next Sabbath we had a crowded audience. I purposed to 
speak from Kings 6: 16: 'Tear not, for they that be with us 
are no more than they that be with them." But the Lord 
saw best I should not speak ; my interpreter, through in- 
disposition of body or mind did not attend. The Indians 
conducted the meeting principally among themselves. The 
conference with the commissioner so broke the thread of 
religious debate that it was not resumed. The council dis- 
persed without deciding on anything, leaving every one to 
think and act for himself. Indeed, this was the termination 
to be desired. 

The Allegany chiefs (except one) representing a popu- 
lation of more than 550 souls, declared in favor of the Gos- 
pel and espoused the cause of the Christian party. Cat- 
taraugus, Tonawanta and Genesee, representing a popula- 
tion of 1000 souls, stood steadfast in their opposition. Two 
of our chiefs that had signed the covenant revolted and 
joined the opposition. 

Here I feel constrained to look back on the way which 
this people has been led. First, that the Indians should in 
the first place investigate their own religion, know what it 
taught and what it could do, and that this investigation 
should be impartial and candid, agitated by no party or dis- 
sension. In this way those that afterward embraced Chris- 
tianity were scribes well instructed in all the strength of 
their opponents. They knew all they did of their ancient 
religion, and all they knew of Christianity they knew be- 
yonci them. 

Another thing worthy of remark : The strength of the 
Christians has been equal to their day. When they were 
feeble the opposition was feeble. As the opposition in- 
creased their strength has been increased and they have 
been provided for in every emergency. And [as to] the 
great council, in which the opposition from their numbers 



268 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

and influence were sure of success, yet perhaps no other 
means could have been so well devised to diffuse the knowl- 
edge of Christianity as this council. The management 
of this council was wonderful. The interruption by the 
commissioners at a time when argument was at an end, 
and abuse, invective and menace were resorted to — what 
this would have come to with two contending parties both 
determined not to yield, it would be impossible to calculate ; 
and the interruption of the commissioners had a conciliat- 
ing effect. The Christians had been accused of abandoning 
their people and selling themselves to the white people. 
Here they had an opportunity to evince that they were the 
same friends to their people they had ever been, and were 
ready to unite with their opponents with all their might 
in resisting what they thought not for the interest of their 
people. And my being prevented from speaking from the 
text I had chosen and the frame of spirit I was in, ought 
not to be overlooked. I might have stirred up the embers 
and kindled a fire that might have done immense mischief. 
Is not the finger of God visible in this work? Is it not his 
hand that commenced and hath hitherto carried it on ? And 
is it not portentous of some important era in Indian history? 
From the dispersion of this council in June, 1819, many 
important events have transpired in the progress of the 
Gospel to this date ; at least they are important to us who 
have seen and felt them, and they would be interesting to 
the pious mind who delights to contemplate the workings 
of Divine Providence, but it would swell the narrative to 
detail them, which is already extended beyond what was in- 
tended. I would only observe that my difficulties became 
so great with my people and the interpreter that I suspended 
my labors as a teacher from the 1st January to the 17th 
of April. [1820.] This was an afflictive dispensation to 
many of my people and to myself, but I trust it has been 
good for us both. It checked the rapid growth of external 
Christianity and opened the mouth of the enemy; but I 
would hope that Christianity took root downward and stands 
more substantiallv than it did before this chilling blast. It 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 269 

may safely be said that external Christianity has been pro- 
gressing among the Senecas from its first commencement. 
Socn after the council a seed was found in Tonawanta. One 
of the first of nine young men that joined us belonged at 
Tonawanta. He returned and carried the little he knew of 
Christianity with him ; he advocated the Gospel amid much 
ridicule and opposition. One joined him, soon a second, 
then one of them apostasized, but he was not discouraged. 
More joined until their numbers amount now to thirty, 
mostly young men and women who meet on the Sabbath for 
religious [purpose], sing and pray and converse on religion. 

A few weeks after the council two of the principal chiefs 
of Cattaraugus came to our meeting. They said they had 
been thinking of the opposition they made to the Christians ; 
they were persuaded they had done wrong. They had to 
learn the present minds of their brethren in this place, if 
they still adhered to the Gospel they wished to follow their 
direction who enjoyed better advantages than they did to 
know the will of God. From that time there has been a 
Christian party in Cattaraugus, struggling with much dark- 
ness, prejudice and persecution. I have visited them once; 
some of them keep the Sabbath ; twelve young men have as- 
sembled to sing Christian hymns. One of their chiefs re- 
ported to Dr. Morse on his return the first of this month 
that half of that reservation was in favor of a preached 
Gospel. Their numbers are 360. * 

Allegany. The chiefs that joined the Christian party 

* In the summer of iSjo the Rev. Jedidiah Morse of New Haven made a 
tour, under a commission from President Monroe, '"for the purpose of ascer- 
taining, for the use of the Government, the actual state of the Tndian trihes in 
our country." On the same tour, he also represented the Honorable and Rev- 
erend Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Knowledge, and the 
Northern Missionary Society in the State of New York. He arrived in Buf- 
falo late in May of that year. A council of the Six Nations had been ap- 
pointed at this place, to convene June ist, which he was expected to attend. 
"As however," he wrote in his report to the Secretary of War, John C. Cal- 
houn, "the steamboat for Detroit was to depart the 31st May, and the omission 
to take that opportunity would delay us a fortnight, deranging all my plans for 
the West, T left a hasty speech with the agent [i. e., Jasper Pariish, sub-agent.] 
and Rev. Mr. Hyde, to be communicated with the Council, and embarked in 
the steamboat." Mr. Hyde communicated the address to the chiefs, June ist; 
like many Government messages to the Indian, it consisted of generalities, 
smoothly phrased; regretted that the white people encroached upon them and 



270 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

here have remained faithful. The Cornplanter, a former 
advocate for the Gospel and of whom hope was entertained 
by some [in] years past that he had experienced religion in 
his heart, for two years past has been at seasons in a state 
of derangement. He of late has come out prophet. (His 
brother was the famous Seneca prophet that died some years 
since at Onondaga.) He says that it has been revealed to 
him that God never designed the Christian religion or the 
habits of white men for Indians. He came up [to] the last 
Spring council to quiet this religious frenzy among his people 
and restore things as they were; but the Cornplanter has 
become broken down with age and affliction. The opposi- 
tion, who had been at considerable exertion to get him up, 
were disappointed in his help, and the Christian party only 
looked on with pity and made no reply to his reveries. The 
Allegany chiefs reported to Dr. Morse that the number in 
favor of the Gospel with them was 225 ; 80 observed the 
Sabbath. A few young men have attended a few times with 
us to learn to sing, but I have not learnt that they have any 
association for singing. Their number by the last census 
was a little short of 600. 

Genesee. Four hundred and sixty Senecas are scattered 
on that river. A few young men have attended with us a 
few times to learn to sing, and I understand a number as- 
sociate for the purpose. As none of their chiefs were pres- 
ent when Dr. Morse was here we have had no report from 
[them]. 

pledged "the hand of sincere friendship." At Detroit. Dr. Morse received a 
letter from Mr. Hyde, written at Seneca Village, Buffalo, June ;th, inviting 
him, on behalf of the chiefs of the Christian party, to visit them on his return. 
Accordingly, on arriving in Buffalo, Aug. Sth, Dr. Morse attended a council 
which was then in session. "I found them convened in their council house, 
the Christian party on my right hand, Capt. Pollard at their head; the Pagan 
party on the left hand, with the celebrated Red Jacket, at their head." Pollard, 
Red Jacket and Cusick (for the Tuscaroras) made speeches. Dr. Morse ex- 
horted them to be diligent at agriculture and embrace Christianity. For these 
speeches, Mr. Hyde's letters, etc., see "A Report to the Secretary of War . . . 
on Indian Affairs," etc., by the Rev. Jedidiah Morse, D.D., New Haven, 1822. 
Dr. Morse's report embraced an interesting report by James Young on the pro- 
gress of school work at the Tuscarora mission (pp. 87-S9) ; also statistics from 
the Alleghany, Cattaraugus and other reservations, reported to him at the Buf- 
falo council. 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 271 

Buffalo Reservation. We have here a respectable choir 
of singers, two very promising young men that appear able 
in prayer and exhortation. We observe the monthly con- 
cert, meet every Thursday evening for singing. Several 
appear serious and devout, and walk agreeable to the light 
they possess. The number the chiefs reported to Dr. Morse 
is 225 in favor of Christian instruction. 

The foregoing is a brief summary of the progress of ex- 
ternal Christianity among the Senecas. It is now two years 
and twelve days since one individual could be found that 
would dare openly profess an attachment and attend to 
Christian instruction. There are [now] as reported to Dr. 
Morse, 660, most of them the youth and flower of the na- 
tion, besides Genesee, which was not represented. It must 
be acknowledged, an important revolution in their minds — 
the work of God almost without any apparent means. 

Their progress in civilization has been no less astonish- 
ing. Those that have attended Christian instruction have 
become emphatically new men. At once they become do- 
mesticated and appear like people at home. Freed from the 
burden of their ancient feast and ceremonies they save much 
time and much substance. I can safely say, for the last two 
years more fence has been made, more land subdued, more 
improvements in buildings, than in all the rest of the time 
that I have been with the Senecas, if not since they have been 
a people, and this almost exclusively among those that pro- 
fess an attachment to the Gospel, except as others have been 
provoked to imitation. This I speak of the village in which 
I live, not because I have dwelt on this subject as essential 
to Christianity, but from their own impulse. 

Schools are what they were and what we have reason to 
fear they will remain so long as we attempt to teach them 
English without a translation. One child after another will 
get discouraged with reading words of which he has no un- 
derstanding. A century of arduous labor will bring the 
same result — none will be educated. I am speaking of chil- 
dren boarding in their families, and attending school a few 
hours in a day. The Senecas have no aversion to learning 
English, but they cannot learn it without a translation, or 



272 A TEACHER AMONG THE SENECAS, 

their teacher possessing- the language. Since they have 
manifested an attachment to Christian instruction many have 
manifested a strong desire to read. I have two old women, 
between sixty and seventy, that have manifested all the 
eagerness of youth to learn to read the Word of God that 
has been translated, and hymns in their own language. 

The first inquiry among the Senecas of a religious nature 
was, What has God revealed in his word? and this con- 
tinues to be the great inquiry. Youth and elderly people 
know they shall never be able to read the Word of God in 
English. Numbers read and learn my translations with 
eagerness. Those that had learnt to read words and syl- 
lables, very readily learn to read their own language. If 
God has used me in any measure as an instrument in pro- 
moting this great [work] I have every reason to believe it 
has been through my poor broken translations. 

I have endeavored to place the Senecas before the Chris- 
tian public, to excite them to pray and labor for them. All 
can safely pray ; but in laboring all ought to take heed that 
they do not hinder the work. To those that desire to be co- 
workers with God I suggest : Let the Indians remain in 
quiet. Make no effort to remove or consolidate. Their 
minds are made up on both these subjects. They are de- 
termined not to remove, and they can see no reasons why 
they should be consolidated. One effort at either would 
greatly distress the minds of the Christian party and open 
the mouths of the pagans. Treat them cautiously ; they are 
as timorous as hares. Force no door that is not fairly 
opened. I apprehend none of the places that I have men- 
tioned are open for a missionary establishment. An effort 
to establish a mission at Tonawanta, Allegany, Cattaraugus 
or Genesee might at this time do more hurt than good. A 
godly, prudent man might labor in either place and with 
the blessing of God do much good, but let him go prepared 
to be let down over a well in a basket. 

In the present circumstances of these Indians I could net 
advise an attempt to establish a missionary family like those 
at the southward. In these places, when they would receive 
a local mission, the circumstances of the natives do net 



NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 273 

[ ? allow : MS. torn] it. They possess abundant means to 
feed and clothe them [MS. torn] but the most serious ob- 
jection [is] to obtain lands sufficient for such establishments. 
If it could be effected might and would probably kindle a 
fire that many years of faithful exertions would not ex- 
tinguish. 

Dear Christian friends, the present is the most eventful 
period with the natives of our land, [which] they have ever 
seen since white men came among them. Many things in- 
dicate the Lord is about to stretch forth his hand to rescue 
them. The unusual interest that Christians take in them, the 
movement among themselves, all indicate an important 
epoch in the history of these long-lost wanderers of the wil- 
derness. Let us be emulous of the honor of being co- 
workers with God. 

Seneca Village, August 28th, 1820. 

Note — Endorsed on the last page of the foregoing manuscript, though ap- 
parently not in Mr. Hyde's writing, is the following: "Red Jacket in his oppo- 
sition to Christianity, is for mere popularity. His ambition is to head a 
party, and had he instead of Pollard been the head of the Christian party he 
would have as zealously supported as he has in his opposition opposed it. He is 
an infidel." 

Note two — In 1827, on complaint prepared by Rev. T. S. Harris, Mr. 
Hyde was tried before the Presbytery of Buffalo, on the charges of "Slander, 
intermeddling and wilful and designed misrepresentation," which charges were 
sustained and he was suspended from the church. The facts are set forth at 
great length in a pamphlet by Mr. Hyde, published at Buffalo in 1S27, of which 
the title is as follows: "A Review of the minutes and proceedings of the 
Presbytery of Buffalo . . . October 16, 17 and iS, 1S27; for the trial of the 
Rev. Jabez B. Hyde, on charges preferred against him by Rev. T. S. Harris, 
missionary among the Seneca Indians. To which is annexed an appendix, con- 
taining documents referred to in the trial . . . Buffalo, H. A. Salisbury, 
Printer, 1827." It is a work of 73 pages, octavo, the preface dated Nov. 17 
[18:27]. Mr. Hyde reviews the action of the Presbytery, with long interpola- 
tions in his own justification. There is nothing in the testimony as printed that 
reflects at all seriously against his character, the difficulties between him and 
the Indians, Missionary Harris and others apparently having arisen out of petty 
misunderstandings and jealousies. In 1823 T. S. Harris and T. Young had pub- 
lished a little book of hymns in the Seneca; the Indians found it difficult to 
read, and Mr. Hyde undertook to supply a new one and claims to have done so. 
He also published a Seneca spelling-book, which Mr. Harris condemned as 
"very incorrect." Mr. Hyde's statement of these things is unaccompanied by 
dates, but both imprints were probably of but a few pages, and few copies printed. 
In a letter to the Rev. Timothy Alden, written at Buffalo May 3. iSj7- Mr. 
Hyde states that he was "thrust out" from the Indians in 1821. After he was 



274 NARRATIVE OF JABEZ B. HYDE. 

dismissed by the United Foreign Missionary Society, the Presbytery of Niagara 
licensed him and gave him an itinerant commission to labor among the Senecas. 
"I was sustained in Buffalo," he writes, "one year and a half. Half a year I 
statedly supplied the Indians at Buffalo, until their missionary came on. One 
year I itinerated among the unsupplied villages as my health and circumstances 
would permit." He made his home at Eden, Erie Co., where his wife died, ap- 
parently in 1824, leaving him with seven children to care for "in a considerable 
measure by the labor of my hands." In 1827, while engaged at Carroll, pre- 
sumably as preacher, he undertook to interest the American Bible Society in 
the work of publishing the Scriptures in Seneca, issuing the work in parts; 
apparently he desired to be commissioned to do the translating; out of this 
came the charge of "intermeddling" with the work of the mission at Buffalo 
Creek. 

In the Buffalo Patriot of Aug. 28, 1827, Mr. Hyde states his case at length; 
alleges that "the first impressions the Senecas had of the superiority of Chris- 
tianity over the religion of their fathers, was derived from a translation of the 
III. Chapter of John s Gospel," the translation, apparently, being his own, 
though it is not known to have been printed. In this article he states: "I 
have now in press a small book of Hymns, and a Spelling-Book, or Analysis of 
the Seneca language." No copy of these works is known. 

Mr. Hyde's subsequent career is unknown to the editor of the present vol- 
ume, save for one incident. In 1848 there was issued from the press of Jewett, 
Thomas & Co., in Buffalo, portions of a work entitled "God in History, or the 
Accomplishment of His Purposes as declared by His servants the Prophets, ex- 
emplified in the Civil and Ecclesiastical History of the World," by Rev. Jabez B. 
Hyde, "First received Missionary among the Seneca Indians." At least three 
parts were issued (8vo. pp. 96). It is not known whether it was completed 
on the original plan. In 1849 Mr. Hyde published in Buffalo (Press of George 
Reese & Co.) an octavo work of 104 pages, with the above title, to which is 
added: "Preceded by a review of Professor Stuart's Commentary on Revela- 
tions," the whole work apparently being devoted to the review, with no reprint 
or continuation of the "God in History." 



X. 

NARRATIVE OF 

ESTHER RUTGERS LOW. 



HER SOJOURN AT THE TUSCARORA AND 
SENECA MISSIONS, l8lO,-20.* 



In the autumn of 1819 I left New York City in company 
with Mr. and Mrs. Young, our destination the Seneca mis- 
sion on the Seneca Reservation near Buffalo, N. Y. We 
were to spend a few weeks en route, in Orange Co., N. Y., 
on a farm, to learn something of country work and life, and 
to take some lessons in riding horseback, a knowledge of 

*Esther Rutgers Low, whose account of her experience at the Tuscarora and 
Seneca missions in 1819-20 is here printed, was born in New York City, May io ( 
1798. Her father, John Low, was a bookseller and publisher of considerable 
note. At sixteen, she united with the Rutgers-Street Presbyterian Church, and 
in 1819, her parents being dead, she undertook the mission work here narrated. 
In Buffalo she met the Rev. David Remington, whose father, and uncle, Judge 
Erastus Granger, were among the earliest settlers of this city. She was mar- 
ried to David Remington, in New York City, in 1S22, and together they went 
as missionaries to the Choctaw Indians in Mississippi. Returning to the North 
after some years, Mr. Remington died at Rye, New York, and Mrs. Remington 
with her young children made her home for a time in Buffalo. She died 
January 23, 1894, and is buried in this city, as is her son, the late Cyrus K. 
Remington. Her account of her early mission work in the vicinity of Buffalo is 
here for the first time published by kind permission from the manuscript in 
possession of her daughter, Miss Elizabeth II. Remington of this city. 

27S 



276 MISS LOWS JOURNAL, 1819-20. 

which in those days was not'simply a recreation, but a neces- 
sity in traveling. My first attempt at this accomplishment 
was rather amusing. We were all gathered on the piazza : 
my turn came last. I took my seat well in the saddle, and 
the horse was led by his owner to the end of the lane ; then 
I was left to return alone — but in vain. I called for help. 
At last in despair I left it all to the pony, and there was great 
applause from the spectators when the gentle animal took 
his own way to the barnyard, stepping over bars and all ob- 
structions till he stood before the stable door, waiting for 
some one to relieve him of his load, recalling the text, "The 
horse knoweth his owner and the ass his master's crib/' But 
practice makes perfect and I became a good rider. 

One Tuesday we said good-bye to these friends and took 
the stage to commence our journey to the Tuscarora mission. 
It was customary in those days for the driver at the foot of 
each mountain or hill to dismount and open the stage door 
and ask the gentlemen to please walk up the hill. So we 
would all volunteer to alight and relieve the dumb animals 
walking up the hills. On one occasion it was announced that 
there was a stage behindhand, and it would be necessary to 
ride all night to meet the U. S. mail. So by dint of riding- 
all night and walking up hills we reached Canandaigua by 
daylight Sunday morning. I attended church all day — three 
services — and took the stage again early Monday morning, 
arriving at the Tuscarora mission the following day at 4 
p. m. — a week of traveling. 

The mission house was about four miles from the village 
of Lewiston, and about six from Niagara Falls. Lewiston 
counted at that time but few houses and one small church — 
it had been burned in the War of 18 12. I listened to many 
moving accounts of the sufferings and distress occasioned 
by war. 

We remained here while the house at Seneca was beinq; 
made reaclv for us. While here I made some very pleasant 
friendships and attended the wedding of my friend Miss 
Patty Childs, who married Mr. Farsons. Also from here I 
made my first visit to Xiag'ara Falls; a party of ten. all on 



MISS LOW'S JOURNAL, 1819-20. 277 

horseback. The old tavern now standing* was the first 
house built at the Falls. It was there we registered our 
names and put up our horses. We crossed to Goat Island 
on a bridge of one or two planks, and a few stakes with 
grape vines twisted about them sufficed for a balustrade. 
There was a rickety old staircase which extended about half 
way down to the river, which we descended and there left 
our wraps, and made the difficult ramble to the water's edge, 
then back again, slipping over rocks and stones, holding by 
the trees and bushes. None can now realize the exhilarating 
pleasure of freedom enjoyed then. 

The Rev. J. E. Crane had at that time charge of the Tus- 
carora mission. The gospel was preached in English 
through an Indian interpreter to a congregation of less than 
100, some forty of whom were members of the church. The 
Indians conducted the singing in their own language, which 
they wished to retain, although they wished their children 
to be instructed in the English language. They were also 
partial to their own mode of dress, which was much orna- 
mented with beads, brooches and needlework. We made 
visits and took tea with some of the families, who adopted 
the fashions of the whites in setting the table, etc. 

At last came the day for us to move. We had early 
breakfast and prayers. Drawn up before the door was a 
large country wagon double team ; household goods piled 
up. We mounted to our seats prepared for us. The good- 
byes were said and we started, getting off to walk up the 
hill as usual. The roads were so rough, the mud so deep, 
that the horses were completely fagged out by the time we 
were half way to Buffalo; so we put up for the night at a 
tavern. 

The second dav through more mud and over more roucrh 



* Parkhurst Whitney's Eagle Tavern, on the site of the present Internation- 
al Hotel. Gen. Whitney bought it in 1815 from John Fairchilds, the pioneer 
landlord at Niagara Falls. Originally of logs, two stories high, it later received 
a frame addition, and was much enlarged and improved at intervals. It was 
the first tavern at the Falls, but not the first house, Augustus Porter having 
built "a substantial home" in 1808. The Fairchilds log tavern did not antedate 
the burning of the village in 1813, and was probably built in 1S14. It may 
have been the first house of the restoration. 



278 MISS LOW'S JOURNAL, 1819-20. 

roads ; by evening we were at the village of Buffalo, and 
were made welcome and comfortable at the hospitable and 
Christian home of Mr. Ransom,* whose house stood on the 
spot now occupied by the First Universalist Church on Main 
Street. t The next day, through still greater perils of mud 
and unbroken forest, we were brought to our own destina- 
tion, our mission home in the woods on the Seneca Reserva- 
tion. 

The house was built of hewn logs, two stories high. The 
second floor was reserved for the school. Beside the regu- 
lar classes in English studies Mr. Young has a class of 
young men, chiefs, two evenings in the week to study music. 
Many had good voices and were fond of singing. And the 
ladies had classes of women and girls to learn how to knit 
and sew. Dennis Cusic [Cusick], son of the chief, was quite 
an artist ; he could draw well, and made his own colors from 
native woods. I saw many proofs that Indians were appre- 
ciative of education and that our being there was acceptable 
to them. 

I will relate an incident. One evening I was left with 
the singing class, the other members of the family had gone 
to a neighbor's on an errand. Presently the}- commenced 
talking to each other, and would occasionally cast a glance 
at me. So I asked Thomas (the interpreter) what they were 
saying. 

"Oh," he replied, "they are just talking among them- 
selves." 

"But what are they saying?" I asked. 

"What do you want to know for?" was the response. 

"Well, 1 think they are talking about me, and I insist 
upon knowing what they are saying." 

"Yes, they are talking about you." 

"Well, Thomas, tell me what they say." 

After a long talk among themselves, he told me that they 
were saving I was a young lady away from my friends. 
among Indians — savages, as they were called — and they 
wondered if I was not afraid of them. 

* Capt. Elias Ransom. 

|Nos. 554-562, now the site of the store of Messrs. Flint & Kent. 



MISS LOW'S JOURNAL, iS 19-20. 279 

'Tell them no," I replied. 

"They want to know why." 

I said, "Ask them if they have read the story of Daniel 
in the lion's den." 

"Yes, they know that ; but what has that to do with this 
case?" 

"Tell them I serve the same God that Daniel did, and he 
is just as able and willing to take care of me as he was at 
that time of Daniel ; besides, they are Christians, and I have 
no fears." 

It took some time to interpret all this conversation, and 
as a result they said they were much pleased and gratified at 
the confidence placed in them, and they thought I was a very 
brave lady, and I might always be sure of their protection. 
I always found them true to their word, and the utmost 
friendship existed between them and the missionaries. Often 
we would have a number take dinner with us. We had a 
good vegetable garden, and wished to show them how vege- 
tables should be cooked. Once we prepared some squashes 
very nicely, which they relished so well, that they were con- 
tinually calling for more. "Squash, squash!" was heard so 
much that we were obliged to cook more, and set it on, but 
in a plainer way, like the man in the parable, "When men 
have well drunk, that which is worse." 

There was not any church at Seneca at that date. Re- 
ligious services were held at the council house, and the mis- 
sion house, by clergymen of different denominations. One 
Sunday the Methodists conducted the service, and sang 
some very lively tunes, which pleased the Indians very much, 
but rather annoyed Mr. Young. 

The principal men in the tribe were White Chief (his 
wife, an Indian, we called Mother Seneca : their three sons 
were Seneca, Seneca White and White Seneca), Tall Peter, 
Two-Guns, and John Wheelbarrow. The Rev. Messrs. 
Rowan and Strong were sent as commissioners to make some 
new arrangements in the mission and to form a church, and 
it was at this time that the first Christian marriage among 



280 MISS LOWS JOURNAL, iS 19-20. 

the Indians was solemnized. :|: After the ceremony Mr. 
Strong said, ''Thomas, with us we salute the bride, that is, we 
kiss her; it is not in the ceremony, only it is a custom and 
pleasure ; you can do as you like about it. It is a pleasant 
custom with us." Thomas interpreted it all and after de- 
liberating some time the answer came : "We have consid- 
ered it, and as we do not see any profit in it, we omit it." 
So it was omitted. 

I returned to New York and was married to the Rev. 
Daniel W. Remington of Buffalo, by Rev. Alexander Mc- 



- 



Clelland, pastor of Rutgers-St. Church, July 24, 1821. 



*The Buffalo Patriot of contemporary date describes it as follows: 
"On the 4th of December, 1820, after the council was adjourned, the com- 
mittee repaired to the house of the missionary, Mr. Young, for the purpose of 
uniting in marriage the interpreter, Mr. Thomas Armstrong, and Miss Rebecca 
Hempferman, also by the same person (Rev. Mr. Rowan), and at the same time 
and place, Jonathan Jacket, youngest son of the celebrated chief, Red Jacket, 
to Yeck-ah-Wak, a young woman from Cattaraugus. Rev. Paschal N. Strong, 
corresponding secretary of the New York Home Missionary Society, being 
present, concluded the ceremony by prayer. Thomas Armstrong and Rebecca 
Hempferman are both whites who were taken by the Senecas at the close of the 
Revolutionary War; from their cradles have been identified with the Indians 
by their language and habits. The other parties are native Senecas, and this is 
the first marriage in this tribe according to Christian institution." 



XI. 

JOURNALS OF 

REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 



HIS MISSIONARY LABORS AMONG THE SENECAS 

AT BUFFALO CREEK AND CATTARAUGUS 

RESERVATIONS, 1 821 -1 828.* 



Nov. 2, 1821. Arrived at Buffaloe, two days ago, but 
could not make it convenient to visit the station before the 
present time. Found the family among whom I am here- 
after to spend most of my time all in good health — and 
anxiously waiting the arrival of their minister. Very kindly 
received and feel much pleased with the neatness and sim- 
plicity of our friendly apartments. It so happened that I 
met with a number of the chiefs assembled at the house of 
Air. Young; was soon introduced and explained to them 
the reason why we had not arrived before. 

5th [Nov.]. This day met with the natives for the first 
time for the purpose of worship. Meet usually in their coun- 
cil house. Congregation very attentive during service, to 
the subject treated of. Much more order than could have 
been expected from person's so ignorant and no more accus- 
tomed to discipline, but it is natural and perhaps constitu- 
tional. Was a little pained by the occasional laughs of one 

*Now first published from the original manuscript in possession of the Buf- 
talo Historical Society. Some of the dates are inconsistent. 

281 



282 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

of the natives and the more so as it proceeded from one 
whose opportunities of improvement warrant a far different 
exhibition. This person's name is Jacob Jamieson. He has 
been at school in different places and has acquired no incon- 
siderable degree of information and can talk pretty good 
English. At present he is to be considered a rather danger- 
ous person. As his acquaintance with men and books is 
more extensive than the rest of his nation, his influence is 
considerable. His ideas at present appear to be at variance 
with the plan of this establishment, inasmuch as he supposes 
that his nation can never be rightly instructed unless re- 
moved off their present residence. He recommends to them 
to embody themselves in some distant country out of the 
reach of molestation and then send their children back to 
those who are well qualified to instruct them. He is not op- 
posed to the Gospel, professedly, but only to the plan pur- 
sued by the Board. 

Monday 5 [Nov.]. This day met at four o'clock for the 
purpose of attending to the monthly concert of prayer. Thir- 
teen persons assembled and attentively listened to what was 
said in respect to what was doing in the world for the good 
of immortal souls. It was truly refreshing [MS. torn, a few 
words gone] to meet with these ignorant, wretched people, 
and by prayer and supplication to that God who can pity the 
destitute and wretched. For certainly if ever there were an 
ignorant and pitiable people these are the same. 

Wednesday 7th [Nov.]. This morning was ushered by 
a consideration of my unspeakable unworthiness, and by all 
the mercies of a bountiful God. Nothing but goodness and 
mercy have followed us since we have embarked in the cause 
of God. But oh my insensible ungrateful heart ! Others 
are complaining of their backwardness and unbelief, but I 
appear to myself too insensible and blind to see my own sins 
notwithstanding my soul is barren in the presence of my God 
and Saviour. 

Thursdav 8th [Nov.]. This day met in council with the 
chiefs at Mr. Young's house. Chiefs pretty generally at- 
tended. When I entered the chamber where they were sit- 
ting all appeared grave and attentive, and continued so 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 283 

throughout. Little Johnson was speaking; he appeared 
grave, manly and eloquent. After considerable conference 
among themselves they remarked that they were assembled 
in consequence of some information before derived from me ; 
that the Good Society at Xew York had sent them a talk 
[to] which they supposed no answer was required, and that 
they were now ready to attend to what counsel might be 
given them by the Society. 

I then asked them if it would be agreeable to them if I 
were to open the meeting with prayer to the Great Spirit. 
They remarked, that it coincided with their wishes. After 
prayer, the first talk was read, which consisted of a letter of 
introduction of their minister and his wife from trie Society. 
This was succeeded by another addressed to the same as an 
answer to one sent to the Board enquiring for a teacher for 
their brethren at Tonewanta. After these had been read and 
explained Pollard arose and said that they owed great 
thanks to their minister for reading and explaining the good 
talk, but that a messenger was here present from Tonewanta 
and that if I would be at my liberty for a little while — until 
they had cleared the way, as they expressed it — and heard 
the news which had now reached them, they would then be 
prepared to return an answer. 

After entering the chamber the second time, in a few 
minutes Pollard again arose and said : That we owed great 
thanks to the Great Spirit that we had been spared in health 
and safety to see each other's faces, and that they owed much 
to the Society for the good talk and a thousand thanks to 
their minister for so patiently and satisfactorily explaining- 
it to them. Furthermore, that though the Society had not 
sent a minister as soon as they at first promised, yet that they 
rejoiced to learn, that as soon as he could be prepared, he 
had come to devote his life to their good. According to the 
request of the Good Society they promised faithfully to re- 
ceive and love their minister and to protect him to the ut- 
most of their power. They understood that it was his busi- 
ness to explain to them the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ 
contained in the Good Book ; they further promised to lis- 
ten with all possible attention to the explanations which 



284 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

should from time to time be made from the Word of God, 
for their best good and the salvation of their souls. Fur- 
thermore, he observed that they rejoiced to learn that they 
and the Board were even-minded, as they expressed it, in the 
business which so deeply interested their brethren at Tone- 
wanta. They had sent to the Board requesting- their coun- 
sel on the propriety or impropriety of advising them to join 
themselves in any agreement, with people of a different de- 
nomination ; and they have coincided with them in opinion 
that it would not be best to receive teachers from any other 
denomination, but all to observe the same way. This is very 
satisfactory to their minds. But, they have to state, that 
there is some difficulty in the way, which however they hope 
the Great Spirit in kindness and mercy will remove. The 
Christian party among their brethren at Tonewanta, being 
exceedingly desirous of having their children instructed in 
the knowledge of letters, and not receiving an answer from 
the Board as soon as they expected, they had thought proper 
to accept of some proposals from the Baptist denomination, 
for this purpose. From the messenger however which was 
then present with them, they had understood that the Pagan 
party was very stout-hearted and had determined that no 
teacher should settle in their village. On consideration they 
were glad that an opportunity was presented of setting aside 
the former agreement, and they would now wait the arrival 
of the teacher promised in the talk which had just been read 
to them. In the meantime they requested of the minister to 
send a letter to them, which should tend to corroborate the 
truth which should be delivered by the messenger. They 
further requested that in that letter all the blame of breaking 
the contract with the Baptists should be on the shoulders of 
the chiefs on the Bulialoc reservation. 

Finally they wished to make a request of their minister 
in order to clear their minds of a difficulty which still rested 
upon them. It was this: Their nation at present was di- 
vided into two strong parties. The Pagans were consider- 
ably enraged because their nation was about leaving the 
rights [ ? rites] and customs of the forefathers for the Chris- 
tian wavs. Now, as they supposed that the Society had em- 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 285 

powered me to satisfy their minds on things of this nature, 
they wished to know how the rising generation should be 
protected in their religious rights and privileges against the 
assaults of those who might invade them. I replied, that the 
Board had not empowered me to tell them ; that they should 
not meet with any difficulty in embracing the gospel of the 
Son of God ; but that I might in justice say, that they would 
afford them all the assistance in their power by advice and 
direction in the reception of the truth. All they [i. e. the 
Board] could do was to send them a minister, to en- 
deavor to direct their feet in the way that leads to life ever- 
lasting ; to point them to the Lamb of God, that takes away 
the sins of the world, who is now exalted a Prince and a 
Saviour to give repentance unto Israel and remission of sins, 
to whom all power is given both in heaven and in earth, and 
who could therefore protect them and their children against 
all the attacks of the most stubborn enemy. Hence they saw 
the necessity of looking to this Saviour immediately for help 
and consolation, for he has declared that "he that believeth 
shall be saved." Good David has also said : "I once was 
young, I now am old, yet never saw I the righteous forsaken 
and their seed begging bread." 

They here expressed ten thousand thanks to me for the 
manner in which I had explained to them where they should 
put their trust for protection and salvation. They knew that 
the Saviour was almighty ; they could read it in the Good 
Book, and by the help of the Lord they would strive so to do. 
On the subject of rendering assistance to the brethren at 
Tonawanta, they remarked, that if the Society could send 
them a letter promising a teacher, signed by the President of 
[the] United States and the Secretary of War, as a token 
of their approbation, they supposed it would be abundantly 
sufficient to satisfy the minds of the Pagan party and cause 
them to be silent ; this would convince their minds that they 
were not imposed upon by the meddlesome whites. To this 
I replied that I held in my hand a letter from the Depart- 
ment at [of] War, stating that Government did approve of 
these societies sending teachers among the Indians, and more 
than this, that they had appropriated out of their own pock- 



286 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

ets $10,000 annually for this purpose; and that this money 
should be applied through the exertions of benevolent and 
Christian societies, and that if their brethren requested it, a 
copy of this letter might be sent to them, in order that their 
minds might be satisfied on the subject; that this was not a 
cunningly-devised scheme in order to deceive them, but that 
it was the very plan that Government had resolved to carry 
into execution. This, they said, was the very thing which 
[they] had wanted all along, and they were compelled to 
rejoice at the good news. They thereupon requested of their 
minister if he would be so good as to send a copy of this 
letter with the messenger who was soon to return home ; 
which was speedily complied with. 

Sabbath, Nov. 12. After service this day I invited Sen- 
eca White and his brother John Seneca to come home with 
me for the purpose of a religious conversation. These ap- 
pear certainly so far as I can judge to be the most serious 
of the nation. I commenced my conversation by telling 
them that I had requested them to come for the purpose of 
having a conversation with them on serious subjects, and 
hoped they would without hesitation open their minds so far 
as it would tend to relieve them of any difficulty that might 
be resting upon them. Seneca White replied that he would 
speak for himself, and his brother should speak for himself. 
I then asked him if he sometimes desired to love the Saviour, 
who died for poor sinners ; whether he believed that God 
would one day call him to an account for the deeds oi body 
whether they be good or whether they be evil? Whether or 
not he was depending upon his prayers or his uprightness 
or his goodness in any way for the purpose of obtaining ac- 
ceptance with God; and if he believed that his sins could be 
forgiven except through the merits of the Son of God? To 
which he replied in the following manner, as nearly as could 
be gathered : 

That in his younger days, in looking around him and see- 
ing- so manv of his neighbors (whites) as well as those of 
his own nation, addicted to improper and sinful practices — 
some getting drunk, others disobeying their parents, others 
addicted to gamboling [ ? gambling] and frolicking, etc. — 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 287 

he had made up his mind to abstain from all these things ; 
to act justly and uprightly with all so far as it was in his 
power. He had seen the great misery which such conduct 
had brought upon those who engaged [in] it, as well as on 
their friends ; that in looking back upon the path which he 
himself had trod he had some sorrow because he found 
nothing which could merit anything at the hands of God; 
for he well knew that sin was mixed with all his actions — 
that he was a sinner before God, and that through Christ 
alone, he had understood from the Good Book, he could be 
pardoned. And it was his constant wish that his sins might 
be pardoned and he accepted through Christ. And it should 
be his aim continually to listen to such explanations as should 
from time to time be made from the Good Book. And it 
was further his strong hope that our lives might be spared 
to be a great blessing to his nation and that God would bless 
our exertions and counsels to them. 

John Seneca answered also that he was of the same mind 
with his brother in all that he had said, that he felt himself 
a sinner before God, and was resolved, as far as the Great 
Spirit should give him strength, to seek the way of salvation 
laid down in the Word of God. He believed the Saviour had 
died for our sins and that he is able to save those that put 
their trust in him ; that in this whole thing he and his 
brother were of one mind. After some plain and solemn 
admonition we knelt down and commended them to God and 
the word of his grace which is able to save their souls. 

Nov. 15. Met with the chiefs in council at our house, 
requesting me to overlook the letter which had been written 
to the Tonewandas, as it had appeared to them not to be al- 
together straight with the direction of the messenger, which 
they had sent to carry the letter. It seems that the messen- 
ger had understood that they must send the letter to Mr. 
Bates, which was a copy of the circular from Government, 
and had not let him see the other ; and he thereon was very 
much encouraged. Whereas, the Tonewandas had deter- 
mined to dismiss their teacher, whom they had promised to 
receive among them, and they met this morning in order to 
have it further explained. When they came to understand 



288 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

that both letters were for them, and that the circular was 
only to let them know what Government would do, thcv 
were entirely satisfied, and said that now they understood 
all things, and would take the letter along to council at 
Jackstown and would there explain the thing to their breth- 
ren who were of the Pagan party; that they fully under- 
stood that Government approved of the plan and would as- 
sist them in undertaking it. 

Nov. 17. Chiefs met at mission house for the purpose of 
having me interpret a letter from Oneida, stating what they 
had done in regard to the deputation, etc., and they also re- 
quested the favor of writing to the Onondagas for the Onon- 
dagas on this reservation. They move very slowly in coun- 
cil, and some appear very dirty. 

Dec. 3, Monday. Chiefs met for council at the mission 
house. Although they were apprised of its being the 
monthly concert of prayer, yet they supposed that because 
it was not specifically mentioned on the Sabbath preceding, 
they pretended that perhaps I deemed it a matter of indif- 
ference. In this however they were mistaken, for on enter- 
ing the house they soon found by the interpreter that the 
family had improved the day for humiliation, fasting and 
prayer. They were respectfully informed that owing to our 
appointment previously to observe the day by religious exer- 
cises, it would seem to interrupt our worship, by attending to 
any secular concerns (the question was put to them) ; and 
that if they would set any time during the week I would 
cheerfully meet with them for the purpose. They beg to be 
excused, as they had not known of the fact till they entered 
the house, and that I might act my own pleasure in deferring 
ii or not. They were satisfied with the reason and appeared 
a little chagrined that they had called on this particular cay. 
I hope it will be a practical lesson, that they may be induced 
to attend more punctually and constantly on so important 
and interesting an institution. The business is respecting 
the affairs of Tonewanta. 1 am rather suspicious that the 
way is not yet quite opened for the location of a teacher in 
that section of the Senecas ; the opposition is yet probably 
too strong to the happy and successful settlement of Chris- 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 289 

tian teachers. It is our duty however to pursue every pos- 
sible opportunity to cover the ground. 

Wednesday, 5th [Dec.]. Had an interview with Capt. 
J J arrish, Government's agent for the Six Nations. He ap- 
pears to be friendly to our establishment, and anxious for 
the improvement of the people. He says that his aim and 
mine in regard to this people are one — they both tend to one 
result, i. e., the happiness and prosperity of this people ; 
only his line of duties lies in one way and mine in another, 
but that both should go on together. 

He related a conversation which took place between him 
and Red Jacket, this morning. Jacket came to him and 
wished to know his opinion, whether he did not think that 
the Black-coats were not coming in among them, in order 
to take away their lands. He told him, it was no such thing ; 
their lands were secured to them by Government, and that 
they could not be deprived of them so long as that Govern- 
ment exists ; that there is no incumbrance whatever except 
the right of preemption, which only relates to the right of a 
company's purchasing them, provided they wish to part with 
them. He [Capt. Parrish] promptly told him, that he was an 
opposer of missionaries, who had been sent by people who 
wished their best good ; that not only so, but that he was 
opposing Government ; who was very desirous of having 
them instructed and their children. And now [said Parrish] 
can you dare to oppose missionaries and societies and Gov- 
ernment ; can you, a single man, presume to fly in the face 
of all these, and violently resist them? 

Ah, well [said Red Jacket], but what has been the result 
of those numerous tribes who had received missionaries 
among them ? What has become of them ? They are ex- 
tinct ; they are forever gone, so that the name even is no 
more remembered. 

Well, and have dissipation and war had no effect in 
bringing about this catastrophe? 

Oh yes ; but liquor and vice and swearing all have come 
in this way. 

And after giving him a good scolding and telling him 
that all was in vain, and that his people would become Chris- 



290 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

tian in spite of all his efforts, they parted about as good 
friends as we meet. 

Dec. 10. This day officiated in the burial of a child of 
one of the chiefs by name of John Snow, he is one of the 
most respectable men of the nation. I was surprised to see 
their regularity and willingness to have it conducted accord- 
ing to the Christian method. The procession started from 
Snow's house and halted at the mission house where an ad- 
dress was made to the mourners and a few words spoken to 
the people on the necessity of being prepared for death. 

Was this evening gratified with an interview with Little 
Beard, principal chief at Tonewanta. He appears to be an 
honest, candid man. He said he was very glad to see me and 
wished to let me know that his people wish to have a school- 
master from the Board, but that they thought it was so long 
to wait. His people, he said, wanted a good Christian man ; 
not lazy, but swift ; one that knew a good deal, and who 
would not set an example to his boys by which they would be 
induced to drink rum. This, he said, ''no good." 

Dec. ii. Was gratified this morning with an interview 
with Young King. He said : 

''Ten years ago, Indians no work — no fence — no cattle — 
no corn — all dark. Now good many cattle — and boys, some 
work. By and by, maybe, ten years, boys work — make good 
roads and good fence — and have everything good." He 
seemed much pleased at the prospect of improvement. 

Dec. 12. A number of the people met this evening with a 
view to engage in singing ; they came immediately from the 
general council, which is composed of chiefs from all the 
reservations. After singing, several chiefs tarried and talked 
on various subjects. Thomas appears quite forward and 
considerably displeased with the Board in not fulfilling their 
word, as he says, with him. He told me, in an impertinent 
manner, that he should expect me to write a letter to the 
Board expressly on the subject. I remarked I might do it if 
I got time and leisure. His conduct has manifested dis- 
pleasure at something for some time past. 

Dec. 14. Two of the chiefs met today with interpreter 
expecting a council, but no more came. I requested the in- 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 291 

terpreter to ask Seneca White if many of the nation were 
now hunting for their winter's subsistence. He replied that 
there were a very great many. I then asked him what he 
thought was the disadvantage resulting from this practice, 
or whether he could approve of it at all. He said he did not 
like the practice, and the disadvantage was very great. In 
the first place, they wear out a great many clothes, and it 
happens often that they seek for game a great while before 
they find any. Another thing is, that they frequently have 
cattle at home, which will perish, unless they are present to 
attend to them. 

Dec. 15. Today Thomas came to the mission house with- 
out any hat and evidently in a passion. He began immedi- 
ately to talk in a scolding manner, on some pretended griev- 
ances which had taken place between Bro. Young and Jona- 
than Jacket. It seems that Jacket had come to the workshop 
to do something for himself. When dinnertime arrived he 
came down without invitation and took his seat at the table. 
This he did twice or thrice. He was at length reminded by 
Bro. Young of his mistake in supposing that we were to 
board him. Thomas declared, to the young women, that 
Jacket had been abused, and that he had now come from 
home without his breakfast and if he had to go home to get 
it, he should not come back to interpret for the council, 
which was to meet at 12 o'clock. After he found that his 
threats very little affected us he went home quite as angry as 
when he came. 

Dec. 27. Was told today by the interpreter that the chiefs 
of the Christian and Pagan parties had convened for business 
of some considerable importance, in which there was a letter 
to be read and if I could attend to interpret it for them it 
would much oblige them. On entering the house I was 
somewhat surprised to find Mr. Hyde had been waiting for 
my arrival for an hour and better, in company with four 
chiefs from Cattaraugus. The" subject of discourse appeared 
tc be a particular consideration of certain facts alleged by 
Mr. If., both in council and conversation at Cattaraugus to 
have occurred in relation to the bargain of Mr. Williams to 
the westward. The subject more particularly turned on 



293 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

opinions asserted by Mr. H. on this subject, and that of the 
preemption company. It seems that H. had expressed him- 
self in council very decidedly on the subject, but more par- 
ticularly and strongly expressed himself in conversation with 
one of the nation who can speak English. This last-men- 
tioned person with three others had called on Mr. II. to 
know whether he had asserted such and such things, to the 
most of which he assented. They then proceeded to Seneca. 
in order to confer with their brethren here on the subject of 
Mr. H.'s conversation. 

The chiefs, it seems, had sent for me in order that the 
whole of this talk might be gone over in my presence. Mr. 
H. was then requested to relate word for word as far as he 
could, what he then stated. The whole seemed to consist in 
assertions, quite positive enough, it appears to me, of Mr. 
H. on the forementioned subjects. Among the rest a copy of 
a letter of his had been sent to Cattaraugus written some time 
before to a person favorable to the preemption company, in 
which he gives his high disapprobation of the conduct of \Y. 
D. Ogden of Xew York. This letter he read in the presence 
of the chiefs, appealing to me for the truth of what was read. 
After understanding as well as I could the matter in debate, 
and especially after seeing the chiefs apparently vexed at all 
this trouble, and considering the meeting nothing less than a 
meeting on land business, and nothing in which as a minister 
of the Gospel, I had any concern, I then asked the chiefs 
whether I had been invited to their council in order to render 
them any assistance or simply as a hearer. They replied, that 
as they had understood, a letter would be read of more than 
usual importance, they wished me to be present, in order to 
hear what might be said; especially as they believed some- 
thing would be said in which the conduct of the ministers 
(the Board's) would be implicated. This implication con- 
sisted in a belief on the part of the natives at Cattaraugus 
that the ministers were at the head of this western expedi- 
tion of Williams, for the purpose of driving them from their 
lands. I then replied that I had come according to their re- 
quest, and had attentively listened to what had passed, and 
found that as far as I could see, there was nothing in which 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 293 

I could render them any assistance, which I would cheerfully 
do, were it in my power ; that it did not belong to my duty as 
a minister of the Gospel commissioned to preach Christ cru- 
cified to them, either to counsel or direct them on their na- 
tional concerns ; that as it related to the conduct of the 
Board, they themselves might judge whether they had ful- 
filled their promise to them, and had acted according to their 
contract with them or not. They had asked of them a min- 
ister of the Gospel : a promise was made ; that promise has 
been fulfilled. Did not this look like consulting their best 
interests? Is it likely that they would now turn about to be 
their enemy ? "You yourselves are certainly apprised that it 
is not the object of the Board to bargain for lands, neither do 
they employ persons for that purpose. As therefore it does 
not enter into the line of my duties to attend on subjects of 
this kind, in which it is not in my power to give them any 
information, I begged to be excused, as I am wanted at 
home." To this they very readily assented. Before I left 
the house Capt. Strong arose and stated that [there] were 
two or three things which had been omitted in Mr. H.'s 
statement. One in particular was that he had declared that 
there were some persons who were false ministers ; that there 
were many who could put on a black coat whenever they 
pleased, and that they were not always to be trusted. [A 
blank leaf here follows ; perhaps indicating that Mr. Harris 
had intended to write further of this affair, but never did, 
the next entry being at the top of a fresh sheet and elabo- 
ratelv headed : "J 011 ™ 3 ! of the Mission at Seneca, Jany., 
i822>— Ed.] 

Jany I, 1822. Another year has commenced with us at 
Seneca. Oh may the great and eternal God bless his cause 
in the midst of us. and cause it to prosper. He we trust has 
opened the way for the display of his grace. May it be his 
divine pleasure to pour out upon us of his holy spirit that we 
may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ. 

We were visited today by probably a hundred and seventy 
or eighty of the natives, men, women and children. They 
appeared much pleased with the attention afforded them, and 



294 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

it may be the means of conciliating the favor and good will 
of numbers who are now nominally and perhaps really op- 
posers. Jack's-town is the largest of these three villages, and 
the stronghold of paganism on this reservation. Today there 
were a considerable number from thence to see us for the 
purpose of receiving their New Year's present. It is re- 
marked by the family that the Pagans have lately a greater 
disposition to be friendly to our establishment than formerly. 
And prospects of that sort appear to be encouraging. 

Was permitted to have an interview with Snow, one of 
the chiefs who has lately been much affected with the loss of 
a child. I was told by one of the sisters that on Sabbath she 
perceived him much affected, and today I improved the op- 
portunity of a free conversation. He appears serious, but I 
am afraid a self-righteous spirit is the predominant temper 
of his mind. His tears which have been seen to flow so 
freely, and which I had humbly hoped were the fruits of 
that godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto life, is 
nothing more than a natural sympathy for a stroke of Provi- 
dence. And I am very apprehensive that the result of hav- 
ing the Gospel preached for ten years or more among this 
people is as yet little else than the production of a pharasaical 
show. 

Jany 10. The chiefs met in council this day at our house, 
professedly for the purpose of having a letter written for 
their agent Capt. Parrish, but principally perhaps for the pur- 
pose of giving us a scolding. On Christmas, when they were 
all assembled at the mission house, it was proposed to them, 
among other things, that as it — the mission house — was 
more central to the three villages, and as it would much ac- 
commodate them in bringing the children to and from Sun- 
day School, and as it would better suit our women, some of 
whom were feeble and in ill-health and not able to walk so 
far, it could perhaps with a little expense be as suitable a 
place for public worship as any other; and as it would be 
likely to accommodate both the people and the mission 
family, the question was put to them, whether they would 
agree to meet here or at the council house. The question was 
also asked, whether they would consent to assist in movr.^c: 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 296 

the schoolhouse which stood at Mr. Hyde's former residence, 
for the purpose of a weave-shop for the squaws. They 
answered, they would consider it. This evening they were 
prepared to give an answer. They replied in quite an impu- 
dent manner, which was far from showing gratitude for an 
accommodating offer. They said that they were unwilling 
to change the place of worship because they had a house 
which was good enough for them and they supposed ought 
to be good enough for any one else ; that if they met here 
there would be so many temptations for the bad class of their 
people to pilfer, but at the council house there was nothing 
but the bare walls and seats for them to pilfer. And as to 
our women, if they really wished to act a faithful part and 
show a good example to the people they could afford to walk 
a mile once a week at all times for the sake of doing good. 
And further, as to the removal of the house, they thought it 
a very needless trouble and expense, which might be very 
easily done without. For these reasons they thought that 
they could not possibly accede to our proposal. Their covet- 
ous disposition is indeed trying. They seem to have an im- 
pression that it is almost a favor that we are permitted to 
serve them in the labors of the Gospel. It is often with the 
greatest difficulty that they are prevailed upon to haul a little 
wood for the purpose of keeping their children comfortable 
at school ; and if told of the propriety of the thing, they are 
by no means at a loss for language that savors of consid- 
erable impudence. May the God of all grace grant them an 
understanding heart, to discern the spirit of Christ, and it 
shall ever be our prayer that God would grant us faith and 
patience to endure all things for Christ's sake. 

Wednesday, Jan. 16. A much larger number of the na- 
tives met this evening for the purpose of singing than usual. 
We have informed them of our willingness to instruct the 
people, both men and women, in singing on this evening of 
the week. By the pains which the chiefs appear to have 
taken to collect the people (some of whom met with us), it is 
probable that they seem disposed to conciliate our esteem 
and thus to make amends for their impudence on the ioth. 

Sabbath, 28th [Jan.]. Was invited today after service to 



296 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

attend on Tuesday at a convention of all the children, for the 
purpose of naming them. It seems that about two years ago, 
from some source or other, the Indians were encouraged or 
directed to adopt a method of publicly naming their children. 
I understand from the interpreter that it is conducted by the 
chiefs. One takes a child and lays his hand on the child's 
head and formally pronounces the name. The meeting is 
conducted at the council house with prayer or singing and 
cakes distributed to the children. The object of inviting me, 
it was said, was that I might give such directions in regard 
to it, as might increase the solemnity of the occasion, and 
that I might engage with them in prayer for the children, 
that they might be kept by divine grace from "every evil and 
false way," and be trained up in the knowledge of Christ and 
his salvation. My reply was, that if I could attend conveni- 
ently, I would. On reflecting, I think it improper for me to 
attend, inasmuch as my presence may sanction a measure 
which has no foundation in C. J.* and which is probably 
viewed by them as a kind of ecclesiastical act. Oh may it 
please the great Head of the Church preserve them from 
deserting that rule of faith and practice laid down in his 
word, and convince them by his Holy Spirit, that at this time 
when "they" think they ought to be teachers, they themselves 
have need that one teach them what be the first principles of 
the doctrines of Christ. 

Feb. 9. Was visited today by three of the leading chiefs, 
who had been appointed to confer with me on the subject of 
the Tonawanta teacher. The conversation was very satis- 
factory to myself, and I do not now remember of having 
ever enjoyed an interview with this people, upon which I 
have been able to reflect with so much gratitude to God as 
our covenant on the present. They commenced the conver- 
sation by calling my attention to what I had said to them, in 
the council held by Elder Stone. They said that I had heard 
what had been advanced by him in favor of the Baptist 
teacher, but could not tarry till the decision had been made. 
They further remarked, that they still remembered their 

* MS. not plain, but apparently an abbreviation for "Christ Jesus." 



JOURXALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 297 

covenant with the good Society ; that they had by no means 
forgotten it and were resolved to adhere to it as long as they 
lived. As to the decision which had been made they said, it 
appeared to be unavoidable, it was a thing which, could they 
have had their own wish, without infringing the liberties of 
others, should not have taken place. But as their brethren 
at Tonewanta were not present when the covenant was made, 
and had conceived a great liking for the Baptist teacher, and 
were greatly disappointed in having their wishes crossed, the 
only resort was to leave it to themselves to judge upon it as 
they should see best.- They also said, that although their 
brothers at Tonewanta had decided in favor of the Baptist, 
still it was but a teacher, and they hoped that even yet the 
Great Spirit would so over-rule the whole affair as to cause 
it to terminate for good. They further observed, that since 
the Good Society had been at much trouble and probably at 
considerable expense for their good and they were anxious 
that it all should not be in vain, but wished the Society, if 
they had found a proper teacher, not to dismiss him, but to 
send him and his family to their destitute brethren at Cat- 
taraugus. They were more numerous, they said, than those 
at Tonewanta, and the Christian party among them were de- 
termined to have their children educated by some means or 
other. They said that moreover the Christians at Cattarau- 
gus had made some exertions in the matter of erecting a 
school-house by hewing and drawing timber for the purpose : 
that the site which they had pitched upon first, was deemed 
by the Pagans such an encroachment on their lands as to 
cause them to haul away their logs, on [to] ground which 
was indisputable ; and they had no doubt that they would be 
pleased with the measure of having a teacher from the 
Board. To be certain however of what might be done, they 
said, that they would send messengers immediately to their 
brethren to confer on the subject, and would let me know the 
result as soon as possible. After asking them several ques- 
tions relative to the subject I said that rejoiced in brotherly 
love, and concluded my remarks by reminding them of their 
obligations to live up to the contract which they had made 
with the Societv ; that as to the Board, I believed they had 



298 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

always found them their tried friends, but if they should 
listen to other counsellors, and go off to other denominations, 
they could not expect anything less than that the assistance 
which might probably be afforded them, would be rendered 
to other people who would cordially receive their counsel and 
abide by their decisions. 

After some consultation among themselves, they wished 
me to explain to them what it was, that was essentially 
necessary for a person's becoming united to the family of 
Christ, or belonging to the church. As for themselves, they 
had long believed that some of their young men were really 
true Christians, this they gathered from a careful observa- 
tion of their conduct, and from the exhortations which they 
frequently give to their own people to live up to the gospel 
of the Son of God, and they now wished to know, what pre- 
vented these persons from becoming members of Christ's 
flock ? They put another question also : What was to be 
done by a head of a family, in case he wished his children 
brought up in the Christian way, whether it would not be 
proper to have his children baptised? And they also desired 
me to explain to them the nature of marriage. 

When the first question was put to me I trembled for the 
result, because as I knew there had been such an itching by 
numbers to have this event brought about. I thought 
it a thing very possible, that in case I refused to accede to 
their proposal they would be highly affronted. I told them 
that if they would answer me one question I would then 
undertake to comply with their request. It was this : 
Whether they would listen to the word of God when it di- 
rects those who are mere learners of the gospel. They re- 
plied that they wished to obey its directions. I then told 
them that the word of God says expressly to persons in their 
situation, "Submit yourselves to those who have the rule 
ever you, in the Lord, 'in all things.'' It was their duty. 
therefore, to submit this whole matter to the minister for 
him to determine who were the fit subjects of the ordinances 
of God's house, and who not ; that it does not become any 
of us to say positively of any person, that he or she is a true 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 299 

Christian ; it is God that searches the heart ; but there is a 
very wide difference between a fair life in the sight of men 
and a fair heart in the sight of God ; that it was the min- 
ister's duty to endeavor to compare the exercises of every 
person who professes to love Christ and his gospel, with the 
rules laid down in his word ; but that in order to do this it 
is absolutely necessary that he should have frequent conver- 
sation with all such persons — it is very necessary that the 
minister should become well acquainted with them ; but as 
for myself they knew that I was as yet almost a stranger 
among them. Some of their people I did not know, and 
those with whom I was acquainted had never shown me 
where they lived. I could not therefore go to their houses 
to converse with them on these subjects, but that in time it 
was my intention to talk with [them] much on these sub- 
jects, but that it was impossible for me to do it immediately. 
I said further that it was not best on any consideration what- 
ever to run rashly with the execution of this business ; it 
was a solemn thing and it was their duty so to consider it ; 
we are all poor miserable sinners the best of us, and it does 
not become us to think too highly of the safe state of our- 
selves or of others. We can therefore never be too well 
grounded in the faith and love of the gospel ; but that upon 
the other hand it would bring a great disgrace upon the 
precious gospel of Christ if any of their people should be 
brought into the church and should afterward turn their 
back upon Christ and his commandments. Besides, their 
pagans were watching every step they took, and if they 
should see any of their number acting in this manner, how 
much they would rejoice in his downfall, and how great 
would be the encouragement for them to continue in their 
dark and wicked ways. It was my counsel therefore to 
them, as one appointed to watch over their souls, not to be 
hasty in this matter, but to examine their own hearts and 
wait the time when there should be satisfactory evidence 
that those who now wished the privileges of the church 
were not only Christians in name but Christians in heart. 
With this they seemed perfectly satisfied and thanked 



300 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

their minister for explaining these things to them in a man- 
ner so very satisfactory, and they replied moreover that they 
had never in their whole lives, gotten such a clear view of 
the gospel, at any one time. They should therefore receive 
my counsel. The other two questions were answered in a 
manner which secured their approbation. 

Saturday, Feb. 15. One of the chiefs called upon me and 
said that he was on his way to Cattaraugus, and should be 
back on Monday and would call. I asked how many were 
going: he said he expected to take eight with his sleigh and 
horses, that he did not know whether more would go or not. 
Ten or twelve went however. He said it was their deter- 
mination to hold a meeting for religious worship on Sabbath 
and to encourage their brothers in receiving the gospel of 
Christ. 

Monday, Feb. 17. The chiefs returned from Cattaraugus 
and called in order to inform us what was the result of their 
visit. As it was very near night, and they fatigued with 
their journey they had only time to tell me the substance of 
what had been done. They had an interview with their 
brothers, and had stated the reason why they had paid them 
a visit at this time. I wished to know what their opinion 
was on the subject that they might be able to render an 
answer to their minister as soon as possible. After some 
consultation the principal chief remarked that it was not 
possible that anything positive could be done in so short a 
time, but that he would call a full council of all the young 
men and ascertain their sentiments on the subject, and what- 
ever their judgment should be, he should cheerfully ac- 
quiesce in it. lie said further that he would send mes- 
sengers in a few days to Buffalo, to inform their brothers 
what was the result of the council. I requested that the 
council might be held at the mission house. 

Sat., Feb. 23. Was informed today that two messengers 
had come from Cattaraugus and from Tonawanda. and ac- 
cording to my request the chiefs would meet in council at 
the mission house at 12 o'clock. They came accordingly 
and opened council about 2. The messengers from Cattarau- 
gus were then called upon to deliver their communication. 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 301 

which was nearly as follows : They had held a council 
among themselves at their council-fire at Cattaraugus on the 
subject which was proposed to them by their brothers from 
this place, but their minds were divided considerably and 
they were not prepared as yet to take any measure posi- 
tively in regard to it. They had been requested however to 
invite the chiefs from this place, with their minister, to at- 
tend a council with them at council-fire within four days, at 
which time delegates from their brothers at Allegany would 
be present with us. They also made particular request of 
the minister that he would bring with him the covenant en- 
tered into between their brothers the chiefs on the Buffalo 
Reservation and the good Society of New York, and also 
the circular letter from Government, as they wished all these 
things explained to them and to their brothers — the council 
to be held in four days from this time. A considerable con- 
versation then took place, and the business of the Tona- 
wanda messenger was attended to. After some little time 
the interpreter whispered in my ear and told me that he had 
collected certain things in the course of the conversation 
which he thought it his duty to relate to me. He said that 
everything appeared to be going on among- the people at 
Cattaraugus as he supposed it should ; that the chiefs and 
people in favor of the gospel had made up their minds, ex- 
cept one, to accept the offer from the Board, because they 
believed that they could never subject their spiritual con- 
cerns to any class of men that would do them better justice 
than the good Society with whom their brothers hail cove- 
nanted. The chief warrior however, being [MS. illegible.] 
man and not willing to enter into any new agreement hastily, 
has not yet given his assent, but is not opposed. The ground 
of his neutrality in the business appears to be, that he feels 
under some obligations of gratitude to the Quakers who re- 
side near them, for services rendered to their people : but 
as soon as he could adopt some means for compensation to 
these Friends, he should adopt this other measure very soon. 
Here the matter rests. 

I then addressed myself to the chief from Cattaraugus, 
and hoped that he would encourage his people in the good 



802 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

ways of the Gospel, and for myself, I had little doubt, if 
they would look up to the Great God for help and direction 
with an humble and sincere mind, he would appear for their 
help. They were then commended to the grace of God in 
prayer and dismissed. We hope the hand of God is in this 
whole transaction, and we confidently trust that he will bring 
it in his good time to a happy termination. 

Tuesday, March 5. Have just returned from attending 
the joint council at Cattaraugus. I started on Wednesday 
of last week, expecting to return on Friday, but events of 
so very pleasing and portentous a nature have occurred in 
regard to the future and eternal welfare of that people as to 
render it impracticable without violating my own feelings 
and theirs, to have returned sooner. In consequence of 
turning aside to tarry all night with a friend I did not arrive 
till next day, first day for council. The Christian party met 
for council at the house of the chief warrior. After the cus- 
tomary salutations and a free [ ? talk] on the motives which 
actuate the ministers of Christ in spreading his gospel, I was 
made acquainted with the plan which they had adopted to 
carry their point in general council with the Pagans. They 
said, among other things, that in their struggles with the 
opposite party they had very much of injury and insult to 
bear ; and though their minds were strongly fixed even as 
the mind of one man, in their adherence to the Gospel and its 
concomitant privileges, still, they found themselves sur- 
rounded with such an overwhelming majority as to induce 
them almost to think that their cause was desperate. It was 
a conviction of their weakness, they said, that they had made 
particular request of their brothers at Buffalo, to come to 
their help, and with them their minister ; and now they were 
bound to give thanks to our God and Saviour, that they had 
been permitted to see the face of their brothers, as well as of 
their minister in peace, and that no accident had befallen us 
on our journev. They said, further, that since the minister 
was so good as to hear their cry and come to their assistance, 
they should by and by, when they met in council with the 
opposition party, request of their minister to read, first, a 
statement from the Attorney General contradicting a report 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 303 

which had been issued by Red Jacket and his party, that the 
Attorney General should have practically said that all In- 
dians who should embrace the gospel of the white men, 
should in a short time be compelled to pay taxes and subject 
themselves to all the laws of the land. The effect of this in- 
telligence on a number of persons was to [make them] 
desert the cause they had espoused, for pagan superstition. 
This certificate they thought of so much importance as to 
have it stand first on their docket ; to regain their apostates, 
and convince the people that they w r ere imposed on by a set 
of unprincipled men. In the second place they requested of 
their minister that he would be so good as to read from the 
Good Book, in the presence of their opponents, such a part 
of the Gospel as would seem most calculated to let them un- 
derstand its true nature. This they thought (to use their 
own words) would be likely to prick them in their hearts so 
much as to make them more cautious how they trifled with 
those solemn things ; and to convince them, if they had any 
conscience, of their unbrotherly and even unmanly conduct 
in so bitterly opposing them in a course which they esteemed 
of such immense importance to themselves and their chil- 
dren. 

Next to this they wished me to read the Government cir- 
cular, showing that the voice of their Great Father the 
President was with the ministers in civilizing and evangeliz- 
ing his red children. And finally, they would expect me to 
read the covenant which had been made with the Good So- 
ciety at New York. 

Their wishes were realized in all this, except reading the 
covenant, for which there was no time, as the Pagans met 
so late in the afternoon, and Saturday, in waiting they said 
for their brothers from Buffalo. Three to four o'clock in 
the afternoon they sent us word they were ready. 

On entering the council house we found Red Jacket and 
his party all present, who had come to have his voice in the 
Council. The day was occupied by several speeches, and I 
was permitted to be a silent and uninstructed hearer. After 
council one of the chiefs" came to me, leading a young man, 

* Apparently, from interlineations in the MS., this was Capt. Crow. 



304 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

and said: "You arc now brother, in the midst of your In- 
dian brothers, so far from white settlements that it is in vain 
for you to think of lodging with them. You will go with 
this man, he will take good care of your horse, furnish you 
a good bed to rest on, and he is able to give you a good sup- 
per." I thanked him and said I would cheerfully accept the 
offer. All he said I found realized far beyond my expecta- 
tions. In the evening a number of the young men came in 
to join in learning to sing ; they have already, without a 
teacher, made some proficiency ; and never did I see persons 
more fond of this recreation or more eager to improve. 

On Sabbath the people met together with chiefs from the 
three reservations for worship at the place of my lodging as 
being the most capacious house on the reservation, about 30 
persons. The meeting commenced by a few remarks made 
by Johnson. (One of the number, who was appointed by 
themselves some time since, to address the people on the 
Sabbath.) I was then invited to conduct the exercises of the 
day and requested to explain to them the nature of the Gos- 
pel, in such a manner as I judged most suitable to their situ- 
ation. They felt themselves in darkness, and how to get out 
they did not know. After singing and prayer I addressed 
them mainly on the two following points: 1. Some of the 
plainer evidences of the truth of our holy religion ; 2, On 
the motives which actuate true Christians in sending this 
Gospel to the heathen. During a discourse of an hour and 
a half in length, almost every eye in the house was fastened 
upon me. I had almost said, never did I see a Christian 
congregation listen with more profound attention, than in 
attempting to lead their minds and hearts to Jesus the Lamb 
of God. 

Some time after service one of the chiefs arose and be- 
fore the people left the house addressed them saying, that 
all the chiefs from the three reservations which had this day 
more fully than they had ever been able to understand be- 
fore, had come to this resolution, that forever after they 
were determined strongly to hold fast to this Gospel and 
abide by its directions, even should it please the Great Spirit 
to order that death should be the consequence. 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 305 

Feb. i*. Buried a child of William Jacket, son of Red 
Jacket. About ten years of age, he died of the consumption. 

Wed. March 21. We were called upon today to commit 
to its native dust the body of one of our neighbors, George, 
son-in-law of the White Chief. He was an honest and in- 
dustrious man but of a remarkably reserved turn of mind. 
In the commencement of his illness I went to administer 
some medicine, thinking to call again soon, but when I vis- 
ited him again with a view to a serious conversation on the 
state of his soul I found him in the agonies of death. Oh 
how important to improve every moment in attempting the 
salvation of souls. His friends said he talked much about 
Jesus, but as there was no interpreter at home, this is about 
the substance of what I could learn of the state of his mind. 

April 1, 1822. Today being the monthly concert of 
prayer, the chiefs [met] with a number of the people for 
the purpose of singing and prayer. These seasons are often 
improved for the purpose of communicating what religious 
information we may possess. And it is often surprising to 
mark the attention which is given to the history of other 
missions among our red brothers. After the exercises of 
the day I improved the opportunity of inquiring of one 
person present with whom I had lately a very serious con- 
versation, whether he knew of any person exercised in a 
manner similar to himself. He told me he did know a few 
more who were thoughtful and who he thought were really 
seeking "the one true and living way." He could only 
speak his own mind respecting them, but after I had con- 
versed with them I could best judge for myself. He was 
then requested to invite these his brethren to attend a re- 
ligious conference before singing on Wednesday evening, 
with a view that the minister might find out how their minds 
stood affected towards the Gospel ; and also that he might 
be able to assist them according "to the ability which the 
Lord had given him for edification." 

Wed. April 3. According to previous appointment on 
Monday, five persons met at our dwelling, all chiefs of other 
nations, with a view of engaging for the first time with 

* Date so written in the journal. 



306 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

their minister in a religious conference. It is peculiarly 
calculated to excite our feelings to hear these [illegible] in- 
dependent sons of the forest describe their feelings ; some of 
them appear to be truly evangelical, as far as it is possible 
to understand them through the tedious and often very in- 
correct mode of communication by an interpreter ; one 
would be disposed to think that the most of those which 
were present were sober and serious inquirers after the truth 
as it is in Jesus. 

April 4. According to previous appointment Bro. Young 
opened school with 15 or 16 scholars. Although the chiefs 
and people generally appear quite anxious to send their chil- 
dren and we believe there are some who will faithfully and 
regularly do it, yet it is more than probable that much will 
not be effected in this way for some time to come ; they are 
so prone to be lax in exercising proper discipline over their 
children, that it is not safe to calculate too sanguinely re- 
specting the school. They have been told to send their chil- 
dren for a few days, and when we are fully prepared we will 
send for the chiefs with a view to a free conversation on the 
subject. 

Wed. April 10. We have this day again been called to 
bury another of the natives — a child of Young King. It 
is a sickly season with this people. The most alarming dis- 
ease which appears to prevail among them is the consump- 
tion, which is unhappily often hereditary. 

April 20. Buried today another child of Wm. Jacket's, 
and he himself appears to have arrived at the last stages of 
consumption. 

April 22. I was interrupted on Saturday in my prepara- 
tions for Sabbath by the interpreter who officiously put him- 
self in my way. When civilly requested to withdraw into 
an adjoining room was affronted, so much so as to inform 
me this morning "that he did not thank me for turning him 
out doors.'' 

May 22. This day had been previously appointed by the 
chiefs for selecting the children for the family. They hail 
been informed that everything was now ready. Council 
was opened late in the afternoon, but none of the children 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 807 

came. This was not their fault, for they had informed them, 
the chiefs remarked, that they had followed the voice of the 
Good Society from time to time, and they intended to do so ; 
as far as they could see their directions were beneficial to 
them and their children. But in regard to instruction of 
their children they had finally concluded it was not best for 
their children to be instructed in agriculture. They thought 
that instruction in reading and writing was sufficient for 
the purposes of the Gospel and for their own comfort ; that 
their parents could teach them agriculture if they wished. 
With respect to embodying the children they observed that 
on the whole it would be prudent to defer it until after the 
next June council. Perhaps God would so order it, as that 
the minds of the opposite party might be brought to think 
and feel with them, and if so, their children ought to have 
as good a right to all the privileges as their own. 

They perceived, they said, that in many respects the 
predictions of the pagans were fulfilling; that "if you give 
white people a footing among you, you will find that they 
will soon be building a town. (Dubinin.) We had already 
built a house of large size, we had gotten a lot of ground 
before ; and now, lately, they had given us the privilege, ac- 
cording to our request, of fencing another lot of considerable 
extent for an orchard ; so that in the approaching council, 
the pagans would no doubt take an advantage of these things 
to build up their own cause. And they would also say that 
the children of the Christian party would be reaping all the 
benefit to themselves, whereas all this property which we had 
the benefit of, belonged equally to both. In order then to 
have as little difficulty with the pagans as possible, they 
thought it best again to offer the privileges of the school to 
the pagans, if they wish to have their children educated and 
will send them to live with us, they had a right to do so, as 
well as themselves. And they said that perhaps the Great 
Spirit would so order it as to bring the minds of both par- 
ties more together in the council approaching. 

They afterwards found fault with the schoolmaster for 
the manner in which he corrected the children. They were 
very willing 1 that the children should be corrected when they 



308 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

deserved it, but not in the way in which they had been ac- 
customed to be corrected. They said they would send their 
children every day to school from home in the meantime ; 
and they hoped that the schoolmaster would be more and 
more faithful to the duties for which he was appointed. 
And even, though it should so happen, that not more than 
one or two came, he must not be discouraged and dismiss 
the school, and attend to his own business, but to go on and 
give them the same instruction as if ever so many came. 

May 23. Mr. Young ready to go into school, but no 
children came. 

June 1. The chiefs met for council at the mission house. 
They talked on several subjects and scolded much. First, 
they wished to know of the schoolmaster, "when he was go- 
ing to begin his school — there was no school yet. June coun- 
cil was coming on, when all their people would be gathered 
from different parts. They would then all be called upon to 
give their voice respecting the state of the schools, and they 
expected that every other reservation would report favor- 
ably ; while they who were the first to receive the Gospel, 
would be able to report nothing; and they now wished to 
have an answer immediately, whether the school could not 
be put in operation or not, before the council ? They thought 
it strange kind of work that their children should be run- 
ning about all this year past, idle, and some of them had 
now grown so large that it was not in their power to man- 
age them and would have their own head ; and this because 
the schoolmaster had neglected his duty for other business."' 

They were then reminded by Brother Young of the man- 
ner in which the school had gone on for these three years 
past, and the reason why so little had been clone was shown 
to be primarily and chiefly their own fault. And as to omit- 
ting the school for the erection of the building necessary for 
a school-house and house for the minister, he had acted ac- 
cording to the commands of the Board, whose orders ho 
should ever think it his duty to obey as long as he continued 
in their service. They must therefore not blame him. They 
were then reminded of the propriety of talking on the>e 
subjects coolly without breaking good friendship. They in- 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 809 

tended, they said, to talk in a friendly way, as far as the na- 
ture of the case would permit ; but they said, there was one 
thing which hurt their feelings. Ever since the minister 
came on, they had scarcely heard a single letter read to 
them, that was directed to him from the Good Society. We 
managed business as we pleased, and they were kept in utter 
darkness of what the commands of the Society were; 
whereas in former times, this never used to be the case, but 
they heard read every letter the Good Society sent. 

This last charge was shown to be a mistake. They were 
then told that every answer to their talk had been and would 
be wholly and faithfully read to them ; but of letters which 
were addressed to me, it had been always my plan to read 
such parts as related to them and their children, and further 
than that they must not expect. The propriety of such a 
plan they acknowledged. 

They afterwards said, that some time ago they sent a 
letter to the Good Society, requesting them to take five or 
six of their children and send them to a distant school, but 
according to the interpretation, their request was not com- 
plied with ; and they supposed the reason was, that Mr. 
Young had written the talk exactly to suit his own ends, and 
brought a great disappointment upon them. Now these six 
children had grown up in much ignorance, whereas they 
might have been of much profit to the nation, had they not 
been prevented in this way. 

Mr. Young then told them, after a number of allegations 
of unfaithfulness, that though he did profess to be angry 
with what had been said, yet, for him to be charged with 
things which could not be substantiated by any proof which 
they could bring, was a hard case and hurt his feelings ex- 
tremely. They afterwards became more temperate. Be- 
fore they dismissed however they wished to know what they 
were to answer the pagans, in council, should they be 
charged with the fact of oitr tilling the ground this year, at 
Mr. Hyde's former place? They said that we had gone on 
and planted the ground for our own use, without consulting 
them ; but they supposed and always understood that after 
any white people had received benefit from their property, 



810 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

the land together with all the improvements, went back into 
the hands of the people. And they now expected that when 
they should be charged with this circumstance in council, 
that we would rise and say that "the people permitted us to 
till the lands this year, gratis, but another season we should 
relinquish all right to the place." 

We replied that the Board had expended considerable 
funds for improvements there, and of course those improve- 
ments could not be given away at all, by persons who were 
their agents. As to planting, we thought we acted correctly 
in tilling it for our own use, as long as we were not for- 
bidden to the contrary by the Board or themselves. As to 
the pagans, they might expect they would try to oppose 
every plan they adopted ; that was nothing new ; but if they 
thought proper, in case of being pushed in council by the 
opposite party, on this subject, to make use of the above as- 
sertion themselves, or otherwise let it be till something more 
could be done about it, we had nothing to say. They re- 
turned no answer, and after awhile dismissed, apparently 
good-natured. School agreed to be opened on the Sabbath. 
Oh that it might please our Father and our God to give us 
more evidence that the spirit of Christ dwells in their hearts, 
but we fear that the love of God is in few of their hearts. 
Though our feelings are often wounded by their unreason- 
able and self-sufficient language, yet the thought of being 
able by the grace [of God] eventually of convincing them 
of the necessity of a change of disposition and conduct, and 
of doing good to their immortal souls will we hope through 
the prevailing prayers of the people of God reconcile us to 
the endurance of every trial, however severe. YYe hope we 
shall not forget that though nominally Christian, many of 
them are vet strangers to the covenants of promise, without 
hope and without God in the world — are yet in darkness. 
and the light of knowledge of the glory of God has not as 
yet shinecl into their hearts. May we therefore endure, 
labor and pray that they may be eventually brought from 
darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God. 

Sabbath. June 2. Preached two discourses for the first 
time on Sabbath last. There was some little dissatisfaction 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 311 

expressed by some of the people of the lateness of the hour 
of meeting. After the service the chiefs were asked, whether 
they would have something more of the Gospel. They re- 
plied, that they would defer it for the present, but would 
be glad, if it was agreeable to the minister, to have two dis- 
courses on the ensuing Sabbath, the very point to which I 
had wished for a long time to bring their minds. 

Monday, June 3. A number of people met at a late hour 
this afternoon for the monthly concert of prayer. Dur- 
ing the service a short exhortation was addressed to the 
chiefs in view of their approaching councils. They were 
urged to manifest a spirit different from the bitterness and 
wrath of their opposers, believing, as we do, the Scripture 
truth that "the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness 
of God." It appeared evident from their very earnest atten- 
tion that they felt sensibly what was said. After prayer one 
of the chiefs came to ask if it was proper for them at this 
time to attend to any secular business ; if it was proper, he 
said, they would receive it as a favor to have a letter written 
to their agent. The letter was accordingly written. It was 
designed to acquaint the agent with the persecution the 
Baptist schoolmaster had lately received at Tonawanda, in 
which it was determined that the schoolmaster should im- 
mediately leave the Reservation. Of this determination he 
was soon made acquainted. He was further ordered to hold 
himself in readiness and pack up his goods and chattels, for 
on the ensuing day precisely at 12 o'clock wagons would be 
at his door to remove him and his effects to the settlement 
from which he came. 

To this resolution he seemed to pay very little attention, 
and appeared for a time to make himself very easy. Think- 
ing however that they might execute their threats, he took 
his wife and child to school with him and locked up his 
house, believing they would not have the audacity to break- 
it open. About the set time the wagons came according to 
promise, stopped at the house and found the house "truly 
shut up and the effects in all safety." They were at first 
non-plussed, but after much strong cogitation an expedient 
was thought of which succeeded admirably. A key wa< 



312 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

mustered which suited the lock and the door was soon 
thrown open, uninjured. They packed up every thing they 
could conveniently carry without damage, carried them off 
to the Batavia road, procured a house in which to store them, 
and locked the door, delivered the key and returned. 

Mr. Bingham the school-master had the painful mortifi- 
cation to witness the whole transaction from the window of 
his school-house. At this outrage our chiefs here appeared 
quite indignant and intended to inform the agent, without 
delay. 

Tuesday n June. Had a serious conversation with Lewis 
Tw r o-guns, brother to the chief of that name. He has lived 
a year or two with white people, and acquired the wagon- 
making trade, and talks considerable English. He says he 
often thinks of his soul, and not a day passes over his head 
without thinking much on the subject. His conduct has 
sometimes been volatile but lately has been marked with 
much more seriousness. His judgment is convinced that 
he is a sinner and in great need of salvation ; but I am afraid 
his heart is not greatly impressed. His views appear rather 
legal : he thinks he sins, but his sins are small, and till I told 
him better he thought he was gaining upon them every day. 
We think him an interesting person, moral, modest and 
pleasant ; and like the young' man in the Gospel, apparently 
''not far from the kingdom of Heaven." 
June 20. Council and its proceedings. 
June 25. The chiefs met in council at the Mission house 
for the purpose of informing us what they would do with 
respect to embodying the children. This object, which we 
have so long had in view, and [regarding] the success of 
which we have had much anxiety, is likely after so long a 
time to be attained. Several things have conspired to retard 
this business; the prejudices of the people, misunderstand- 
ing with respect to our intentions, and other things have all 
been barriers in the way. On this occasion however our in- 
tentions have been more fully explained, and there appears 
a better understanding between the missionaries and the na- 
tives with respect to what will be done with the children in 
prosecuting their education. They said that they were able 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 313 

to put into our family ten children, to be entirely under our 
control, together with two from Allegany and Cattaraugus ; 
but the other boys who had grown beyond the age pre- 
scribed by the Society, should be faithfully sent from home 
every day. The number they remarked was less than they 
expected to have put into our charge, but that there were a 
great many more younger ones who would soon be of suit- 
able age to be received. These boys they wished constantly 
to have attend to their books, and for that reason they were 
unwilling to have them instructed in agriculture or be en- 
gaged in any kind of work. 

The impropriety of such a request was shown them by 
saying that it was contrary to the direction to their father 
the President, as they knew from the Government circular 
\\ hich had been sent to them ; that by so doing the school 
would lose seven or eight hundred dollars per year, which 
would be applied for the use of their children. Also it was 
contrary to the expectations of the Society, who expected 
that together with learning to read and write, they should be 
taught to work and be industrious ; that the children would 
lose nothing in their studies by such a plan, but be rather 
gainers because they would be kept out of idleness. 

They immediately withdrew their request in surprise by 
saying they thought our object was to make the children 
work to pay for the clothes they wore, most of the time, in 
the woods, but now they understood all things perfectly, and 
should deliver these children into our hands to do with them 
just as we saw proper. This number should be the com- 
mencement, but that in time we might expect a number more. 

Saturday, June 29. Day of fasting and prayer. 

July I. This day our eyes have beheld in view of our 
increased charge, with unspeakable pleasure, fifteen inter- 
esting little immortals in the bosom of the family, and ap- 
parently much delighted with their situation and prospects. 
For this, we have long hoped and prayed, and oh that they 
might be trained up for God. If our own hearts deceive us 
not it is our most fervent petition to him who is able "to pity 
the ignorant and those who are out of the way," that he 
vouchsafe to them his Divine guidance, that they may be 



314 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

ornaments to the religion of the Saviour while they live and 
made fit for an holy heaven when they die. We shall cer- 
tainly have twenty, when they all come who have been prom- 
ised. No doubt many fervent prayers of the Board, and of 
the dear people of God, will ascend for their salvation. 

July 10. The number of children admitted into the fam- 
ily has increased to 24. It is probable however some will 
not tarry. We do believe, notwithstanding the influence of 
some adverse circumstances, that the Lord is about to do 
something efficiently for the rising generation of this poor 
dear people. The process by which the work is going on is 
extremely slow and requires strong faith and perseverance 
of exertion ; believing, that though we may die without see- 
ing any marvelous results, yet we may have at last the fe- 
licity, after having sown, to rejoice together with those who 
reap. The children with two or three exceptions have 
[done] well and are generally very intelligent. 

July 16. The Lord has seen proper to afflict us by the 
loss of our horse. He died a few days since of the botts, 011 
a visit to Cattaraugus. Everything was done that could be 
done to save him, but in vain. We shall be compelled to get 
another immediately. 

July — • This morning several of the larger boys went 
home without leave, which has been the occasion of setting; 
almost the whole school in a tumult about home. It requires 
great patience and judgment to get them obedient. 

July 25. We were visited today by one of the Alleghany 
chiefs, who brought his son to be initiated into the school. 
He promised when at the June council to bring some of his 
children after a few weeks. He wished to know the term? 
on which he could be received, that the bargain might be 
fully understood. After an explanation of our plan he ap- 
peared satisfied, and said he should give his boy to be kept 
by us as long as we should choose to instruct him. He en- 
quired the length of time that was expected to elapse before 
the children could finish their course of study, observing 
that there were a number of people on all the reserva- 
tions who appeared pleased with the plan of our school, but 
their minds were not altogether satisfied with the length of 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 815 

time they were required to stay. Some had understood six 
years and some five. He wished therefore to know the pre- 
cise time they would be required to stay, in order that his 
friends might be able to decide whether they would send 
their children or not. On being told that we should expect 
all the children to remain at least two years and generally 
three he appeared pleased, and gave us to understand that 
we might most probably expect two or three more soon after 
his return home. 

Aug. I. The family was considerably disturbed by the 
intrusion of one of the natives in a passion, who is the father 
of two of our children. Brother Young found one [of] the 
children in mischief and reprimanded her for it. She re- 
sented it and ran home to her parents and made them believe 
that she had been greatly abused. Both parents came in 
about ten o'clock at night, greatly incensed, and took them 
both away. 

Aug. 7. Today the children returned [with] parents' 
consent. [Note] consequences to the school from such con- 
duct and chiefs' interference. A council was held this day 
at the mission house, composed of chiefs and warriors from 
Allegany and Cattaraugus and Buffalo, for the purpose of 
hearing the opinion of the minister respecting some unpleas- 
ant information which had been received in regard to what 
the opposition party in a general council had effected, and in 
regard to the general success of opposition. Some ex- 
hortations to constancy were addressed to the assembly, 
which were very gratefully received, in answer by an Alle- 
gany chief ; their minds were fixed. 

The council was closed by a spirited speech by an Alle- 
gany chief in endeavoring to settle the minds of his fathers 
and brethren, on the immense importance of delivering up 
their children to their brothers the teachers, who had come 
to instruct them in the right way. He said, "we had long 
enough neglected our children and the consequence of it we 
could now sufficiently see in their idleness and sin : that 
they had not the correct method of bringing up their chil- 
dren, but the white people had ; and we ought not to find 
fault with them because thev corrected them." They ap- 



816 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

peared pleased with the school, very much. One of them is 
the father of the lad who is with us from the Allegany Res- 
ervation, and says that there will probably be more from 
that place that will apply for admission. 

With respect to the school : it is now diminished to seven- 
teen in number. Some who came first have become dis- 
contented with confinement and have gone home, and a few 
have been taken sick. The number that remain appear con- 
tented and obedient and apparently happy, and generally 
make handsome progress. May it please the Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ to add some of them to his church of such 
as shall be saved. 

Sabbath, Aug. 25. We were pained today to see the 
tardiness of the people in attending church, and the indif- 
ference manifested by many to the sacred institutions of that 
holy day. Our congregation a few weeks since was full to 
overflowing, consisting generally of from 50 to 75 and 80 
adults. Now many appear little disposed to listen to the 
words of life, by absenting themselves from the house of 
worship. 

After service the people were informed by one of the old 
chiefs that on tomorrow a feast would be observed in com- 
memoration of those of the older members of the congrega- 
tion lately deceased, this to be a kind of Passover, held the 
12th day after the decease of the person. The particular 
ceremonies are not known, but it is a part of their former 
superstition. Oh when will they learn righteousness and 
turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan 
unto God ! 

Sabbath, Sept. 1. Two or three of the congregation were 
invited home with us today for the purpose of a free con- 
versation on the state of their souls. Seven came and joined 
with us in our evening conference. Those with whom we 
had time to converse appeared truly thankful for this atten- 
tion of their minister, and at his request opened their minds 
freelv on the several subjects proposed. They seemed to 
feel deeplv their own unworthiness and generally a dec^ 
sense of guilt. One said he sometimes thought his sin too 
great to think it possible for God to forgive, but then again 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 317 

he reflected that the mercy of the Lord was great, and he 
lejoiced that there was a door of hope opened even for "the 
vilest of the vile." Another said that every day he came 
short of doing his duty to his Maker ; he felt it ; he knew 
it; but he had often heard and he did believe in his heart 
that Jesus was an almighty Saviour; his whole life was on 
his mercy and he might do with him just as he saw proper. 
He was asked if he delighted in unburdening his mind to 
his Saviour, whenever his mind was pressed with any diffi- 
culty or any sin? He replied that he did not forget to seek 
the grace of God every day ; sometimes along with others, 
and sometimes when he was in the woods alone and no eye 
saw him but the eye of his Saviour, he was accustomed to 
pour out his heart in prayer to his God. 

Monday, Sept. 2. Monthly concert ; a number attended. 

Wednesday, Sept. 4. The Lord appears gracious to us 
in favoring us with opportunities of carrying on our several 
operations. We have just erected a frame as an addition to 
our kitchen department. It is a large piazza, intended for 
washing, buttery, etc., etc., for the children. 

Thursday, Sept. 19, 1821.* A general council was this 
day opened at our council house of the whole Six Nations, 
for the purpose of preparatory measures for distributing the 
annuity, the United States agent and interpreter being pres- 
ent. At this season several important communications from 
Government were read by the agent to the council, directed 
to both parties. One was an answer to a letter from the 
chiefs of the Christian party, commending them for the zeal 
and engagedness they have manifested in promoting their 
own civilization and happiness, notwithstanding the opposi- 
tion of some of their own people; and exhorting them to 
prosecute these measures, for as long [as] they pursued this 
wise course they would always receive the countenance and 
support of Government. Another was a communication to 
Capt. Parrish, including instructions quite favorable to the 
increase of school and improvements generally. The last 
was a communication addressed principally to the opposite 
party and containing a severe reprimand for the determined 

* Should be 1822. 



818 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

opposition and unwarranted hostilities which they have 
lately manifested towards teachers and missionaries, con- 
trary to the wishes of Government and their own best in- 
terests. 

"We have viewed," say they, "the conduct of the party 
among the Six Nations called the Pagan party, with marked 
disapprobation ; that the institutions in the Six Nations hav- 
ing been established with the consent of a number of the 
most respectable chiefs, and with the approbation of the 
Government, a continuance of the violent opposition which 
they have lately manifested towards them, and in particular 
any attempts to remove them, against the wishes of so many 
of their own people and that of the Government, will be 
considered as highly unjust to the former and disrespectful 
and offensive to the latter." 

These communications, so favorable to our cause, greatly 
embarrassed the opposite party. Our hope is, that it may 
have the effect of opening a door of peaceful residence to 
our brother missionaries on the Indian land. We do believe 
that the Lord will still grant that the minds of these scat- 
tered tribes will be blest with the means of salvation. "Let 
the people praise thee Oh Lord, let all the people praise 
thee." Another boy brought to us today. 

Saturday, ^ept. 21. Another council held at Buffalo in 
the presence of Capt. Jones, Parrish, Gen. Porter and H. B. 
Potter, Esq., attorney general. Remarks were made by Gen. 
Porter on the nature of the communications from Govern- 
ment, expressing his opinion, as a peacemaker, that the docu- 
ments were genuine and showed the zeal of the Government 
to promote their present and future welfare. That they 
were genuine he had no doubt, for that he himself has had 
an opportunity, by his residence at Washington during the 
last winter, of ascertaining the views of Government ; and 
believes them to accord perfectly with the sentiments of the 
communications. And whereas he observed some blame has 
been attached to the agent for countenancing education and 
improvements, he thought it an unjust censure, because as 
an officer of the Government lie was in duty bound to carry 
into effect as far as possible the views of the Government. 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 319 

Jacket, finding himself so much galled by the clear and 
candid statements which were made, left the council in dis- 
gust, and has been so intoxicated as to be incapable of any 
business ever since. 

Sabbath, 226. Sept. The congregation met for worship 
as usual at the council house, our usual place of worship. 
The exercises were attended with due punctuality but not 
with that eagerness which has sometimes been manifest in 
our religious meetings. The service of the afternoon was 
conducted at the mission house, for the purpose of attending 
a funeral. A number of strangers were present. We trust 
the Lord was with us, by his Spirit to give efficacy to his 
truth. An unusual solemnity and feeling evidently pervaded 
the assembly, which gave great interest to our meeting. 

Tuesday, 24th Sept. We were grieved today to see all 
the girls of our family running home without permission. 
One of the smaller girls has lately been quite troublesome, 
so much so as to receive reproof from one of the sisters. 
She did better for a while, but again trespassed. We told 
her father, the same one who not long since came and took 
them both away. He conversed with his child, but in such 
a manner we believe as to do but little good ; indeed she has 
since been worse. She had endeavored to induce the others 
to run away with her, but they did not choose to go. To- 
day however a couple of squaws came and conversed with 
them, and they immediately went home. We expect that 
they were told to come and assist their parents in gathering 
the corn harvest, without consulting us on the subject. 
Thus we are tried with this ignorant, inconsiderate people. 
They wish their children instructed and complain at the 
shadow of neglect towards them, and on the most trivial 
occasion will teach them to disobey us. The Lord convince 
us of the need of patience and submission ; and them of the 
folly of such measures. 

Wednesday, 25th Sept. Six of the natives met this after- 
noon, according to previous agreement for social prayer and 
mutual conference on the state of their souls. These seasons 
are often most delightful and refreshing. It was truly cal- 
culated to awake our sympathies and excite us to praise God. 



820 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

to see one of our serious chiefs who has lately been brought 
near to the gates of death, while relating the state of his 
mind affected to tears. But a short time ago, comparatively, 
he was immersed in heathenish darkness, the thick gloom of 
superstition hovering over his soul. Now he appears to 
think upon ins former course but with disgust and we would 
humbly hope with true repentance. They expressed a de- 
termination, generally, that by the grace of God they were 
resolved to seek the face of him who is able to save unto the 
uttermost all who come unto God by him, until they found 
him precious unto their souls. 

Thursday, 26th Sept. Two children, a girl and a boy, 
were brought to us from Tuscarora. Our school appears to 
be growing popular among our neighbors. The Lord grant 
that it may be blessed to the salvation of many souls. 

Saturday, 28th Sept. The chiefs having been previously 
informed of the conduct of the children, sent a deputation 
today on account of the rain, to converse with us on the 
subject. They had much fault to find with our methods of 
conducting the school, and our establishment generally. The 
teacher was blamed for not being more confined to his duties 
as teacher, and for not treating the children when they be- 
haved ill in a more conciliatory manner, using more tender- 
ness and caution in his attempts to correct them. They did 
not think it was generally the best way to correct children 
with the rod r but to use persuasive measures and coax them 
into obedience. This way they supposed to be much the best. 
And if the children were disobedient and did not do as they 
ought, with such measures, tell the parents of the children 
and let them reprove them. They were then asked, what 
should be done, should all these measures be pursued and 
still the child prove refractory ? They answered, that in 
such case the only alternative was, that if both parties failed 
in this generally sure remedy, to consider the child as an 
heathen man and a publican ; a poor lost ruined creature 
that is fit for nothing, and so cast him out. They remarked 
among manv other frivolous things, that the time was draw- 
ing near, thev supposed, when we should be making out a 
report to Government on the state of the establishment and 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 321 

the progress of the scholars, etc., and they supposed the 
fault of the children's tardiness in learning would be thrown 
on their shoulders, but they stood prepared to deny any such 
assertion, because the fault of the children's not learning 
more was because the teacher did not attend to his duty as 
he ought. They were then plainly told that as to the chil- 
dren's progress we were pursuaded that those who behaved 
well and were obedient did learn and did improve in every- 
thing useful quite as fast as children in white schools and 
families generally do ; but as to those who would continue 
to do ill and were disobedient they would never learn with 
the best of teaching in the world ; and if they as guardians 
would continue to complain of us as unfaithful, because we 
could not in conscience countenance their children's de- 
pravity, the Board must know it and the world know it, and 
the sin would in a measure lie at their own door. With re- 
spect to our communication to Government, we did not in- 
tend to lay any blame upon those who did not deserve it. 
We intended to state facts merely, without note or com- 
ment. It should be according to truth and we should not 
be ashamed to let it undergo the strictest scrutiny by any 
one. 

They concluded by saying that the children should all 
come back, and they finally thought that in the course of a 
little time more would come, especially of the women, to at- 
tend upon the work-school, which has been suspended mostly 
during the summer for want of proper assistance ; few of 
the women choosing to come also. Among these they sup- 
posed would be a number of young women of the opposite 
party, who they knew were anxious to come, and who now 
also had the right to come, inasmuch as they themselves had 
agreed in council that Christianity might be tried on this 
reservation only. All these young women therefore wanted 
was an invitation on our part to attend. They were told, 
that that department would again be put into operation as 
soon as a female teacher could be procured by the Board 
for the use of the mission in this place. We then parted by 
mutual tokens of good will. 

We finallv think that the caprices of a few of these un- 



322 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

enlightened chiefs in regard to their children, ought not be 
indulged. We are well assured, as any person can be, that 
mild and conciliatory measures ought to be employed in re- 
forming the conduct of children as long as they prove suc- 
cessful. This we believe is the easiest and by far the pleas- 
antest method; but the rod is the plan of God's own ap- 
pointment, and we do believe that the rod judiciously man- 
aged will oftentimes do more to ensure the obedience of all 
kinds and descriptions of children than all the pursuasion 
and coaxing in the world. It ought however to be made 
and we intend to make it the last resort always ; without 
always consulting the parents, who are as often as unyield- 
ing and as unreasonable as the children themselves. We are 
further willing to trust God for the issue of such a course. 

Friday, Oct. 4th. We were this day visited by our dear 
brother Kanouse, agent of the Board. We hope our hearts 
have been refreshed and our drooping spirits raised by this 
valued brother. May the Lord bless this brother in his at- 
tempts to recommend the cause of missions in this pan of 
the country. May his heart be encouraged and his hands 
strengthened by the hand of the mighty God of Jacob ! 

Monday, Oct. 6th. Today being the monthly concert of 
prayer, a goodly number attended. After the exercises of 
the afternoon Bro. Kanouse held a talk with the chiefs of 
the Christian party respecting the progress of the school 
department. Our brother affectionately told them his dis- 
appointment in noi seeing more of their children in the care 
of the family who were appointed for their instruction, and 
held up to their view the disposition that was so prevalent 
among our red brothers to the south, to encourage the hearts 
of their missionaries by causing the children to show a 
prompt attending on their instruction. They attempted to 
palliate the matter in some degree, but appeared considerably 
confused. We trust that the conversation of our brother 
has had a very salutary influence in bringing- their minds to 
consider their remissness in not sending their children with 
more assuredty to the school. The Lord grant that their 
eyes may be opened to this important department. They 
promised to do all in their power. 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 323 

Oct. 8. Today Sister Harris was blessed with a young- 
daughter. May God in his holy providence consecrate this 
event for his glory. 

Saturday, Oct. 27. It was this day determined to sus- 
pend two services during the winter, and instead of the af- 
ternoon service the people acceded very cheerfully to the 
proposal to meet for an evening lecture on Wednesday even- 
ing at the mission house, and after the service to attend to 
instruction in singing. By uniting the season of singing (a 
recreation) and worship together we suppose that many 
more will attend worship than would were these attended to 
on separate evenings. 

Wednesday, Oct. 30. More attended the evening lecture 
than were expected. We trust that this arrangement will 
not only tend to our own comfort, but by bringing children 
together with the people into one worshiping assembly, im- 
portant spiritual advantages will result to them. Bless the 
Lord Oh our souls for any opening of usefulness among 
this interesting people. 

Nov. 2. This day completed the annual report to the 
General Government.* 

Sabbath, Nov. 3. Our worshiping assembly this day ap- 
peared unusually interesting. Before the religious exercises 
commenced one of the principal chiefs arose and addressed 
the assembly, consisting of about 80 souls, on the importance 
of obeying those directions of the great and good God which 
were from Sabbath and Sabbath and from time to time ex- 
plained to them from the word of God; and as far as we 
could ascertain attempted to admonish the audience, for 
some departure from Gospel integrity and obedience which 
had lately come within the reach of his observation. The 
same thing was very feelingly and from his manner I should 
say forcibly done by Pollard, the chief speaker on the last 
Saobath. He arose before the people, immediately after the 
minister had left his desk, and with apparent decision and 
earnestness and at the same time with all the affection, rep- 
rimanded his people for certain conduct which he considered 
ai war with evangelical truth and righteousness. 

* For this report, sec ante, pp. I-I3-U5- 



324 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

Today I was told by the interpreter after the chief had 
finished his address, that it was expected a large number of 
the Onondagas would attend who had never been pro- 
fessedly favorable to Gospel instruction ; and it was a re- 
quest of the chiefs that I should take my text in some por- 
tion of the word of God which would lead me to show the 
entire insufficiency of their former superstition to make them 
either comfortable in this world or happy in the world to 
come. The subject proposed for their consideration is con- 
tained in Heb. 8:10: "For this is the covenant that I will 
make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the 
Lord. I will put my laws into their mind, and write them 
in their hearts ; and I will be to them a God and they shall 
be to me a people." 

Thursday, Nov. 14. Had a most interesting sick-bed 
conversation with Jonathan Jacket, who is apparently fol- 
lowing to the grave with rapid strides his brother William 

who died in J last. When I entered the house I found 

the interpreter with a number of his friends collected to sec 
him. After informing me that he expected the doctor soon, 
to administer to his complaint, I supposed I had little time 
to lose, and therefore commenced conversation with him on 
the affairs of his soul. I asked, whether this subject would 
be agreeable to him. He replied that it would, because ''that 
was the principal thing." I then requested him to open his 
mind to me without any restraint, because I wished to do him 
good. He answered, that whatever he should say should be 
the truth, for that God was his witness, who was in every 
place and knew the thoughts of his heart, and it was there- 
fore in vain to attempt to deceive him. He then went on to 
state, that on Sabbath last, he felt more concerned than usual 
for his friends, particularly his grandmother, mother, wife, 
nephew and wife and cousins, some of whom had never at- 
tended the preaching of the Gospel, and those that had he 
supposed understood it but imperfectly ; he therefore called 
them to his bedside and counselled them separately, declar- 
ing that he for one did believe, contrary to the opinion of 
some of his people, that there was a day of judgment com- 
w<r when the world should be judged before God. and that 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 325 

Jesus Christ would reward every person according - to his 
works; the wicked he would reward with everlasting fire, 
and the righteous with endless happiness ; he therefore 
hoped that they would try to be prepared for that great day 
and repent of every sin, and put away every improper dis- 
position, and put their whole trust in God. 

He had previously informed me that he felt himself to be 
a sinner, and that he had determined to repent and give him- 
self up to God. Fearing - however that he had perhaps put 
the determination instead of the thing - itself, I considered it 
my duty to preach Christ and him crucified as plainly and 
pointedly as possible. I therefore addressed him by saying, 
that he had told me that he had felt himself to be a sinner 
and that now there was no reason why he should not receive 
forgiveness, since the Lord Jesus had died for just such 
persons as he felt himself to be, provided they truly felt their 
sins to be a burden, and would consent to throw the burden 
on the arm of Jesus, who has declared himself able to bear 
it. And that though his sins had been like mountains rising 
toward the heavens, still the mercy of God like a mighty 
river was able to rise above them and hide them forever. 
After continuing the conversation for some time I closed 
by saying that it was impossible for me to determine whether 
he had made his peace with God or not, that God himself 
only could search the heart of man ; that as a single man I 
could only judge of my own spirit by the rule that God had 
given ; but as a minister of Christ I was bound to tell others 
and him among the rest, that if we ever love Jesus at all, it 
must be before we go hence to be no more in this world, or 
not at all; that God had declared in regard to the next 
world, that "as the tree falleth, so it lieth," there was there- 
fore no repentance there : and as I feared his days would be 
but few in this world, I hoped that what his hands found to 
do he would do it with his might. This was all I had to say, 
and my prayer was that God would be with him in his sick- 
ness to sanctify all his trials to him. I asked him it" I should 
pray with him. Having looked me full in the face the whole 
while he now put his hand to his face and burst into tears, 
and sobbed aloud and said, "Sir, I thank you a thousand 



326 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

times for what you have now said to me in regard to mv 
soul. You have now given me more satisfaction in this short 
conversation than I have ever received in my whole life — 
you have enlightened my understanding more than any man 
has ever done before. My heart is full, and all I can say is 
it is my anxious wish that you pray to God for me." 

The whole audience was at once melted ; to weep with 
those who weep, to me, in this case was easy. To have re- 
frained would have been more than brutal. We then knelt 
down and commended him to God in prayer. After rising 
from prayer he the second time expressed his gratitude for 
the comfort his mind had received during the conversation. 
After expressing my determination to call upon him from 
time to time as my circumstances would admit, I took my 
leave and departed. 

Nov. 25. The conduct of one of the natives today has 
more than ever convinced us of the importance of pursuing 
one strait, steady and scriptural course in all our operations 
among this people. The father of two children who some 
time since became displeased with the teacher for scolding 
his disobedient girls, again became displeased and said that 
he should take away his girls, inasmuch as they were ac- 
cused of leading away the whole school ; and he would see 
whether their absence would be likely to restore the order 
which we had complained of as being disturbed. We told 
him that he could do as he thought best in relation to the 
matter ; that we were sorry to think that children so capable 
of receiving proper instruction as his were, should be suf- 
fered to run about idle and lose all they had learned. He 
was however not to be diverted from his purpose. 

He returned today and desired to have his children again 
reinstated, because both the children had pleaded with tears 
to be returned. After seeing our hesitation on the subject he 
became more earnest and confessed that he had done very 
wrong in conducting as he had done in relation to his chil- 
dren ; and promised that if they again misbehaved he should 
be cheerful in having them corrected ; and if they ran home 
he would correct them and send them back. We consented 
that one miq-ht come, but that the other be suspended for a 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 327 

short time that she may be taught to consider the school a 
privilege. 

Nov. 27 Have just returned from visiting Jacket, who 
will survive but a few days at most. The principal chiefs 
were collected to pay him their last visit, among whom was 
Red Jacket his father. Being already exhausted with con- 
versation I judged it proper to converse but little. His most 
serious and judicious friends told me however that he had 
expressed the state of his mind at large ; that he was tired 
of earth, that God had blessed his soul through Jesus Christ, 
and that now he had "no wish to live but earnestly desired 
to depart to be with Christ which is far better." If any 
hopes are ever to be cherished in regard to a deathbed re- 
pentance I should think that in this case we may hope that 
he will die in peace. 

Dec. 25. The Christian party were pretty generally col- 
lected today to receive their Christmas presents. We should 
judge the number consisted of 150 souls. They expressed 
much gratitude for the kindness of the family, and listened 
with respectful attention to a discourse founded on the 
words "Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good 
will to men." 

Dec. 26. One of the native women came to the minister 
today to state her grievances in regard to her husband, stat- 
ing that he had gone and left her without any provocation ; 
and she thought if I would hear what she had to say I might 
be able to befriend her by my counsel. She is the wife of 
the amiable Young Two-guns, brother of the chief of that 
name. I told her that it appeared proper that she should 
state her grievances, but that prudence dictated the propriety 
of doing it in the presence of her husband, that I might be 
able to give advice to both. As she had no objections, the 
husband was immediately sent for and came forthwith. They 
were both heard, one of the principal chiefs being present. 
The young man is inflexible; says that he is fully convinced 
from repeated trials that her disposition is such as will for- 
ever break his peace if he live with her; and whereas she 
now desires to be married in the Christian manner her object 
is only to bind him fast that she may lord it over him. From 



328 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

our acquaintance with the family as well as with the indi- 
vidual woman we have pretty strong- impressions that a 
youth of such inoffensive manners and amiable disposition 
would not be disposed to violate a rule of the Gospel without 
strong inducements to self-justification in so doing. The 
custom of putting away their wives and marrying others 
however, is an evil prevalent among this people, deeply af- 
fecting their temporal comfort and injurious to the Christian 
cause. They never I believe bind themselves for life ; but 
the marriage contract is dissolved at the option of the par- 
ties. May it please God who has begun a good work among 
them to set aside every barrier to the diffusion of his truth, 
and the general universal acceptation of his laws. 

Dec. 28. I requested a council of the chiefs on this after- 
noon, with a view to ascertain what might be done in doing 
away the practice of putting away their wives for reasons 
not sanctioned by the word of God. They were reminded 
of the extent of the evil which prevailed among them and 
had prevailed among them so long, attended with such un- 
happy consequences. 

A plan was proposed with a view to ameliorate the con- 
dition in this respect, to this effect : that as marriage was 
not a sacrament, nor anything peculiar to Christian com- 
munities, but a matter of public benefit, they owed it to 
themselves as directors of their nation to recommend some 
plan that may be disposed to lead their people from so much 
laxness in this respect. My individual opinion was, that if 
the younger men and some of the middle-aged of the chiefs 
were to come forward in a public manner and desirous of 
showing a good example, be married in the Christian fash- 
ion, the object with blessing of God might be attained. 

To this they replied that by the assistance of the great 
and good God they should certainly try their utmost to com- 
ply with my request; and they could now rejoice in the full 
belief that God had prospered them in their feeble attempts 
to do their duty ; because that they had spent the whole day 
on yesterday, at their council house, on this same subject : 
and what appeared singular and matter of rejoicing to them 
was, that we had both hit upon the identical expedient to 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 329 

remedy the difficulty ; and I might rest assured that they 
were more thankful for the proposal now made than for any- 
thing that had befallen them (as they expressed it) "this 
many a day." They would converse with the chiefs and 
answer soon. 

Jan. 6. [1823]. Met for the monthly concert of prayer; 
an unusual number present. The chiefs and people generally 
listened with deep interest to some religious intelligence. 
After the services of the evening they conversed on the sub- 
ject proposed to them on the 28th ult. They said that their 
deliberation on that subject was that a couple of their young 
men had professed their desire to be married in a lawful 
Christian manner, for the purpose of setting their own 
minds at rest, and also as an example to their nation. They 
pitched upon Wednesday for the solemnization of the mar- 
riage. With this request we have thought it proper to com- 
ply, trusting in God that if it will not eventually be attended 
with good, it will effect no evil. Thev concluded bv asking 
if it would be in our power to gratify their wishes of pre- 
paring a supper for the parties to be married, provided they 
found the provisions. They were told that we would be dis- 
posed to gratify their wishes as far as might appear to be 
proper. They would at once see the propriety of our not 
adapting any of the funds of the Board to such an object; 
but as they had generously offered to contribute all the ma- 
terials for a supper on this occasion, I would leave it with 
our females, on whom the burden would chiefly fall, to say 
whether it would be in their power to gratify their wishes in 
this respect or not. Upon the sisters expressing their con- 
sent they left us exceedingly pleased. 

Jan. 28. We have lately received three boxes of clothing 
for the use of this mission, one from Orange Co., Xew York, 
and two from the congregations at Raritan and Millstone, 
New Jersey. This has proved a most acceptable present, 
especially the bedding, which has been much needed at this 
station. May He who has declared that "those who devise, 
by liberal things shall be made fat," enrich our dear friends 
with all needful grace and mercy for this instance of love 
to his cause. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God 



330 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

ever our Father, give them everlasting consolation and good 
hope through grace, comfort their hearts and stablish them 
in every good word and work. 

Feb. 2. Monday. The concert for prayer was this day 
in consequence of a funeral in the afternoon among the op- 
posite party, but thinly attended. After the exercises were 
over I thought it my duty to consult the views of the chiefs 
in regard to the new arrangement of the Board, to embody 
the children of the Tuscarora tribe in our family. They of- 
fered no objection to the plan, and we presume will not. 

Feb. 3. We are sorry to think that two of our promising 
boys, who are in part claimed by the opposite party, have 
left the school in consequence of a correction received for 
bad conduct ; the effect on the rest of the children has been 
most salutary. 

Two young men have solicited marriage in the Christian 
form. They were both expected to have been married, but 
the bride of one was compelled to postpone the matter on 
account of the conduct of her brother, a Pagan, who is 
raving mad with her, for attempting such a thing. The man 
and woman both sent the minister word, however, that they 
"shall embrace the first opportunity to have their wishes 
gratified in spite of his opposition." 

Feb. 14. Brother Crane* arrived last evening, desiring a 
council with the Indian chiefs today. They convened ac- 
cording to appointment. The subject proposed was, to 
obtain their full and free consent in permitting the Tusca- 
rora children to become embodied along with theirs at this 
station in compliance with the wishes of the Board. This 
consent appeared necessary in order to satisfy the minds of 
the Tuscarora chiefs, who were unwilling that the friend- 
ship of the two tribes should be disturbed. Brother Crane 

* James C. Crane was born in Morristown, X. J.; united with the church. 
in 1813 and in 1817 was appointed to the Tuscarora mission by the New York 
Missionary Society. For two or three years he lived under the Lewiston 
mountain, removing to Tuscarora village in 1821; the next year the church 
was built, 30 feet by -'o. Troubles arose, Mr. Crane resigned, and for two 
years was general agent of the Board of Managers of the United Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society. When that society was transferred to the American Board of 
Commissioners for Foreign Missions, he was chosen assistant secretary of the 
Bible Society, but died a week later, aged 32 years. 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 331 

addressed them at some length on the importance of the 
plan already submitted for the consideration of the Board ; 
but did not expect they would pass a decision upon any part 
of it, except so far as related to the reception of the Tusca- 
rora children. 

The result of their deliberations on the subject however, 
was that the matter appeared to affect their interests so 
deeply that they could not pass an opinion until it was 
brought before their next June council, when the matter 
would be taken up and decision made in a regular manner. 
Brother Crane wished them in a particular manner to un- 
derstand that it was not his expectation that they should 
pas9 an opinion in regard to any other part of it, than so far 
as related to the Tuscaroras ; as the Board themselves had 
not as yet sent the whole plan to them for their ratification 
and adoption ; but only wished to know their opinion in re- 
gard to the Tuscaroras only. 

To this they after some consultation replied as before, 
that the matter could be more regularly determined in a 
larger assembly. They concluded by expressing their thanks 
to the missionaries for taking so much interest in their wel- 
fare, and they hoped that they would be instrumental in do- 
ing much for their several nations. 

March I. The minister has been able during the past 
month to find time amidst the pressing concerns of the es- 
tablishment, to visit several of the more serious natives ; 
and it is encouraging to reflect with what gratitude and re- 
spect those visits have been received. We trust we may do 
much good by having such a good opportunity as these visits 
afford to instruct the families in the principle of domestic 
subordination and family government, in which they are 
very deficient. 

March 2. Two of the principal chiefs called today to 
procure some communication to their agent. They appeared 
much chagrined when they learned that the petition of the 
friends of Christianity and civilization in this and the ad- 
joining counties, praying for the alteration of the law of this 
State, in relation to the residents on Indian lands, so that 
ministers of the Gospel and mechanics of good moral char- 



332 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

acter be excepted ; was negatived in the Assembly of this 
State. Surely God will overrule all this for good. 

March 8. Today the two boys who left us some time ago 
have come back ; the one came and plead to be returned, 
saying that he had done wrong and is very sorry. The other 
was forcibly taken away against the will of the boy, to 
gratify the whim of a very drunken dissipated parent. He 
has now returned through the interference of the chiefs. 
Their tattered and filthy garments were immediately ex- 
changed for their former suits, and the smile of health and 
contentment is now lighted up on their countenances, which 
were before pale through hunger and sullen by despair. 

March 10. Another interesting little girl was brought to 
us today by one of the chiefs, who said that she was very de- 
sirous to come and live with us. Her age is ten years. We 
have given her the name of Catalina Vroom, after a par- 
ticular friend. Our school is certainly becoming more and 
more tractable. The whole number is seventeen. The prog- 
ress they make in the knowledge of household business and 
in the various branches of study which occupy their atten- 
tion the most of the day is truly gratifying. There is one 
class of six or seven who read fluently in the New Testa- 
ment, another who spell in words of two or three syllables, 
and one or two beginners. They also make tolerable prog- 
ress in learning the English language. 

Wednesday, March 27. An intelligent lad of sixteen 
years of age was brought to the school by one of the young 
men of the tribe, who says that he is a connection of the 
Mohawks at Grand River, U. C. While at Grand River 
during the winter the father and aged grandmother of the 
lad (his own mother being dead) placed him under his care, 
being a relative, with a particular charge to have him edu- 
cated if possible. Having received such a charge he has 
brought him to us to be placed entirely under our control. 
He has had already some slight acquaintance with letters. 
and speaks pretty correct English ; and on these two ac- 
counts we have thought it proper to admit him to the priv- 
ileges of school though he is a little in excess of the age 
prescribed by the Board ; especially too considering the im- 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 333 

portance of an interpreter in the school, the want of which 
we have often experienced, and also considering his ac- 
quaintance with two or three Indian languages. With him 
came also one very bright lad, who was initiated last July 
with the rest, but was induced to leave us, as we understand, 
through discontent occasioned in part through affection for 
his mother who at the time lay dangerously ill with a fever. 
His excuse thus rendered by the mother, has been sustained 
under promise that he remain steadfast in future, making 
our whole number about twenty. 

At the close of the singing this evening we had the satis- 
faction to state to the congregation present that the printing 
of the Indian hymn-books prepared by the teacher for the 
use of the school and for the congregation, was now com- 
pleted. It was also stated that the printing and binding of 
the whole number of copies (which is 500) will cost near 
$40.00, and that as only $20.00 had been appropriated by a 
few benevolent white men for this object, we expected that 
they would assist us in defraying part of the expense of 
printing; that they might either agree to pay the remaining 
sum, in whole or in part, or take the books at 25 cents apiece, 
not however before they had examined them a little for them- 
selves, and see whether they could derive benefit from them. 
One or two of the hymns were then interpreted and sung by 
those who can read, verse by verse. They appeared exceed- 
ingly pleased and pronounced it "very good," and said that 
they should cheerfully take upon themselves to defray at 
least part of the expense ; but supposed that as the books 
would be equally useful to all the Seneca nation on the five 
reservations, it appeared proper that the expense should be 
so divided, not that "one should be eased and another bur- 
dened," but that all should pay an equal portion. They 
therefore advised that the teacher keep the books in his pos- 
session until the approaching June council, when the neces- 
sary expense should be defrayed out of their annuity. 

Sabbath, March 31. An opportunity was offered before 
preaching this morning to consult the feelings in a more 
particular manner of four natives, in regard to their uniting 
themselves with the church of Christ. In addition to the 



334 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

frequent opportunities which have been presented for cate- 
chising these persons for more than a year past, it has been 
made a special object of attention to visit each of them at 
their own dwellings and to spend a greater part of a day in 
conversing with them all expressly on this solemn subject, 
with one exception. Unexpected circumstances have oc- 
curred from time to time, so as to prevent any direct con- 
versation with him on the subject of covenanting with God 
and his people. It was thought best to begin with him first 
alone. The object was stated to him for his assent or dis- 
sent and an invitation given to covenant with us to serve 
God. He said, ''it was true that hindrances had been thrown 
in the way of my addressing him in particular on that sub- 
ject, and he had frequently thought that perhaps this was 
an indication from God that he was not to be considered 
worthy so great a privilege. He knew it was just in God to 
reject him, for he felt himself unworthy, a great sinner, 
and should he be left to perish in his sins God would still be 
just." On thus saying he wept freely. He afterwards said 
that his sole dependance was in Christ for salvation ; and if 
I thought, as one appointed to direct the ignorant and 
strengthen the weak, that this union with Christ might be 
attended with good, he had no objections. The others were 
then called forward and questioned with respect to their 
determination, giving themselves wholly up to God if it 
was his will. They all expressed their unworthiness but 
still had a desire to acquiesce in the will of God, whatever 
that might be. Next Sabbath week was appointed as the 
day for their baptism and for entering into solemn covenant 
with God, and a meeting appointed for the candidates on 
Wednesday at the mission house for conference and further 
conversation on this subject. 

Wednesday, March 2. The candidates for baptism came 
according to appointment. The meeting commenced with 
prayer, after which an address was made to them, showing 
the important nature of that warfare on which they were 
about to enter, and the peculiar obligations which would 
devolve upon them to be the Lord's. They expressed the 
liveliest gratitude for what they learned, and it is perhaps 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 335 

sufficient to say that their whole conversation and deport- 
ment were highly gratifying. 

Saturday, April 12. The candidates for baptism, with a 
number of the people, met for worship this afternoon and 
for the purpose of entering into church covenant with the 
members of the mission family. Oh that they may not only 
covenant in name but in deed and in truth ; and may it 
please God to interest them in the covenant of his love and 
prepare them all for the enjoyment of his blessed self in 
glory everlasting. Brother Crane was expected to have 
assisted on this occasion. On tomorrow they are to be bap- 
tised and the sacrament to be administered in our place of 
worship. 

Sabbath, April 13. A delightful spring morning, truly 
emblematical of that Sabbath of rest and glory, when saints 
shall no more drink of the fruit of the vine here, but when 
Jesus shall drink it new with them in his Father's kingdom. 
We enjoyed a precious season of prayer this morning in 
view of the solemnities of the day now before us. Truly 
God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. 
Oh Lord God, ''purge us with hysop and we shall be clean, 
wash us and we shall be whiter than snow." ''Make us to 
hear joy and gladness that the bones which thou hast 
broken may rejoice." 

About 12 o'clock the people had pretty generally col- 
lected to view the solemn feast, everything having been 
previously arranged. Discourse from I Cor., 6, 20: "For 
ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God, in your 
body and in your spirit, which are God's." xVfter sermon 
the candidates were called forward and questioned on some 
of the plainer truths of the Bible, and as to the sincerity of 
their desires to devote themselves to God in that covenant 
which is well ordered and sure in all things. After ex- 
pressing their assent, the nature of baptism was explained 
more fully to their comprehension. The four, one by one, 
then knelt down and were baptised in the name of the 
Father, the Son and Holy Ghost, and were invited to the 
table. It was still and solemn ; and our prayer is that our 
God and Father would condescend to ratify in heaven the 



336 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

sincere service of us frail imperfect mortals here on earth. 
The audience, consisting- of 150 persons, was as solemn and 
orderly as could reasonably be expected. Thanks to God 
that he has planted this infant church in this heathen land. 
"Look down Oh Lord God, and visit this vine, and the vine- 
yard which thy right hand has planted." 

Next Sabbath was appointed for baptism of young chil- 
dren of those who were for the first time admitted to the 
sealing ordinances of the church. 

Monday, July 28. We have ever labored under a dis- 
advantage in regard to the instruction of the children at 
this station, in consequence of the unwillingness of the 
parents to place their children under our entire control as 
in other places. They have insisted and do still insist that 
their children have the privilege of visiting their homes one 
day in a w r eek ; the result has uniformly been such as we 
anticipated ; and though an attempt has been made once and 
again to have their permission to let their children remain a 
longer term with us, we have hitherto proved unsuccessful. 
Several instances however have lately occurred, which are 
so manifestly expressive of the folly of having - the minds 
of the children so frequently bent on home, that we have 
come to a determination that if the school ever succeeds the 
children must remain with [us] three months at a time, and 
at a council of the chiefs this day convened, we have af- 
fectionately, patiently and decidedly stated our determina- 
tion and the causes which induced us to make it. They 
listened very attentively and after much and long consulta- 
tion without coming to any agreement, they have finally de- 
ferred the answer, much to our disappointment, to the com- 
ing of the two commissioners who are soon expected from 
the Board. 

Tuesday, July 29. The interpreter called this morning 
with a message to the minister from our dear friend and 
brother, Seneca White. He is decidedly the nearest earthly 
friend we have in this country, and the pillar of his people. 
"He had in council, yesterday," said the interpreter, "pleaded 
your cause, the cause of the children and of the Board, like 
a lawyer, but to no effect in regard to one or two oi the 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 237 

older chiefs. They are still deaf to the cause of truth, not- 
withstanding all that he can urge. As to the others, they 
have had but one mind on the subject. He has now sent 
me to you, to let you know something of his trials. He 
states that after the decision, yesterday, his mind has been 
greatly agitated, not a bit of sleep has he had all the night. 
The reason, he says, he sees the obstinacy, the ingratitude, 
the unwillingness of the older chiefs to consent to good and 
wholesome plans, which are calculated, in the judgment of 
the wise and good, to build up his nation, to make them re- 
spectable in the eyes of Christian nations and to educate the 
rising generation among us in such a way as shall terminate 
in their welfare here and in promoting the best interests of 
their souls hereafter. "If it were only the education of these 
few," said he, "which are here now, it would be compara- 
tively of little consequence ; but it is establishing a prece- 
dent for hundreds who may yet enter your school from 
among our nation. This makes me anxious," says he, "en 
the subject, and I wish you to know that I am determined 
to drop my work, and shall not rest till I have done my en- 
deavor to have it brought about agreeably to your wishes 
and mine, before the arrival of the commissioners." 

We believe verily that God has put [this] in his heart 
and that we shall yet see, that God will not suffer the ex- 
pectation of the righteous to perish. 

Sabbath, Aug. 3. Met for religious worship as usual. 
Discourse: the story of Daniel. There appears nothing 
very unusual in our religious assemblies on the Sabbath, 
but we think we see a growing respect and attention to the 
truth which is so feebly delivered from Sabbath to Sabbath. 
We do think the more wild and careless part of our auditory 
seem of late to be overawed by the truth, and more disposed 
to be respectful during the performance of our exercises. 
Still however we labor under a great disadvantage in our 
present mode of communicating religious truth to this peo- 
ple. Oh to be able to speak to them in their own language, 
[of] the wonderful works of God, or if God would be 
pleased to send us a pious interpreter, one who could feel 
and rightly enforce those solemn truths of God's word 



338 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

which are alone able to build up this heathen people. We 
might then be encouraged to hope that the prospects of suc- 
cess among them were flattering. But shall we not conclude 
that the ways of God are true and righteous altogether? 
Shall we dare despond or be discouraged when God the liv- 
ing God has promised to direct, sustain and comfort us 
under all disadvantages of toil and impediments to success ? 
In the meantime we are encouraged to hope that whenever 
this mission becomes properly regulated and the necessary 
hands at work it will be in the power of the Superintendent 
to devote more of his time to the acquisition of the language 
and to proper missionary work. 

Monday, Aug. 4. The boys are quite cheerful in enter- 
ing upon the labors of the morning and seem to be emulous 
to excel each other in their amount of work. They have 
chopped and corded at intervals between the hours of school 
during the spring and summer nearly forty cords of wood, 
which we think is no mean specimen of what might be done 
if there were a person in connection with the mission who 
would have it as a particular object to lay out and super- 
intend the different kinds of labor to be performed on a mis- 
sion farm. 

Sabbath, Aug. 10. We have been much gratified of late 
to witness a growing seriousness among the children. They 
have been seen to weep freely during a conversation with 
them on the concerns of eternity. Today one of our most 
interesting girls was observed to be in tears during church 
service. On the return of the children from the place of 
worship we were pleased to see them of their own accord 
retire into the school-room, one and all, for the purpose of 
holding a prayer-meeting among themselves. Both boys 
and girls in their turn knelt down and in an audible voice 
poured forth their infant petitions before the throne of 
Grace. Surelv it is easy for God, out of the mouths of these 
babes and sucklings, to perfect his own praise. They also 
sang several hymns. 

Tuesday. Aug. 19. We were this day visited by a very 
dear friend and brother, Rev. Alfred Chester of Hartford. 
Conn. This gentleman appears to us to take a deep interest 



JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 339 

in everything relating to the building-up of Christ's king- 
dom in the world, especially among the heathen. We trust 
we shall long remember the assurances of his love to the 
cause and to us as the honored instruments of promoting it. 
Visited the Cattaraugus mission with this brother. 

Saturday, Aug. 23. The Indians are fast collecting at 
Buffalo to receive their annuity at the hands of the agent. 
We understand that no business of importance will be trans- 
acted aside from the distribution, and that the council house 
at Seneca Village will not be opened. 

Monday, Aug. 1, 1823.* A few of the young people and 
chiefs met this evening to join in the monthly concert, the 
older chiefs being absent in attending a land council on the 
Genesee River. After joining in prayer and singing a word 
of exhortation was addressed to them from the words, 
"Prepare to meet thy God." After the conclusion of our 
exercises I addressed one of our interesting young men who 
appeared unusually feeble, on the present state of his health. 
He replied, "It is very poor." "How long since have you 
been languishing?" "About two vears since I was con- 
siderably oppressed with a pain here" — laying his hand on 
his breast — "but find that [it] has increased much since last 
spring." "And are you ready to meet God, if he should 
soon call you from time into eternity ?" After a little pause 
he replied, that he had fears on that subject; how far he 
was actually prepared he could not say. He could only say, 
he was daily asking and pleading for mercy at the hand of 
God and our Saviour ; and as I was their minister and ap- 
pointed to explain to them the word of God. which had been 
so long covered from their view, he should faithfully listen 
to my instructions, and he hoped that I would be able to 
l^ad him in the way of salvation. He was afterwards ex- 
horted to go immediately to Christ for the pardon of all his 
sins, and for preparation of death. 

Monday, Aug. 8. Our hearts were rejoiced this evening 
by the arrival of Rev. Dr. Spring, one of the Board's com- 
missioners to this station. Dr. Milledoler and lady expected 
tomorrow. Council appointed Wednesday. 

* These dates, though inconsistent, are as they stand in the original journal. 



340 JOURNALS OF REV. THOMPSON S. HARRIS. 

Tuesday, Aug-. 9. Went to the village of Buffalo to es- 
cort the Rev. Dr. and his lady. Oh that this event 

may be blessed of God for the spiritual welfare of the poor 
Senecas. In the evening a lecture was preached by Dr. 
Milledoler at the close of which Mary Ann Davenport, 
daughter of James C. Crane of Tuscarora station ; Louisa 
La Tourrette, daughter of T. S. Harris, and Alexander 
Semple, son of James Stephenson, were baptised. 

Wednesday, Aug. 10. The council and its decisions. 

Thursday, Aug. 11. This day the commissioners pro- 
ceeded to the Cattaraugus station, up the lake 30 miles south. 
Their business there, important in its nature, has been trans- 
acted with much celerity, and greatly to the satisfaction of 
all the parties. Previous to the council with the natives the 
commissioners had the opportunity of witnessing the im- 
provement of Mr. Thayer's school, with which they ex- 
pressed themselves highly gratified'. The council was but 
thinly attended, but their talk with the commissioners was 
extremely tender and affecting. 

Friday. Aug. 12. The commissioners returned from 
Cattaraugus this morning and after dinner left us for Buf- 
falo in order to take the morning stage for Albany. May 
the God of all peace and consolation reward them abundantly 
for "all their work and labor of love" transacted at these 
several stations. 

Sept. 17. In compliance with the request which was 
urged in a communication to the Synod of Genesee from the 
Revs. Drs. Milledoler and Spring, commissioners on the 
part of the Lnited Foreign Missionary Society, to take some 
measure which should tend efficiently to promote the cause 
of that Society, the synod now in session at Buffalo have 
unanimously passed the following resolution : 

"Resolved. That the Synod earnestly recommend it to 
all the congregations under their care to make collections in 
money, clothing and provisions in aid 1 of the Lnited Foreign 
Missionary Society, in behalf of the natives on the Indian 
reservations within our bounds, and forward the same to 
Mr. Abner Bryant of Buffalo; the Rev. Joseph Penny of 
Rochester; and to Mr. William H. Wells, Batavia ; agents 



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